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»■«'««. », ,„.,.UH CLOWES ANO «,,•« „ 

• • ^ 

*•••;•.:■ . 

:•:•*•;.: ■' ••••: 


When, in tlie year 1854, 1 was arronfijing the scheme for the 

' ' Handbuok of Architeeturej' one chapttrof about fifty pages was 

allotted to the Uude Stone Monuments then known. When, 

however, I came seriouBly to consult the authorities I liati marked 

out, and to arrange my ideas preparatory to writing it, I found the 

whole subject in such a state of confusion and uncertainty as to be 

wholly unsuited for introduction into a work, the main object of 

which was to give a clear but succinct account of what was known 

and admitted with regard to the architectural styles of the world. 

Again, ten years afterwards, while engaged in re-writing this 

•Handbook' as a * History of Architecture,' the same difficulties 

presented themselves. It is true that in the interval the Drnids, 

with their Dracontia, hafl lost much of the hold they possessed on 

^B(he mind of the public ; but, to a great extent, they had been 

^peplaced by prehistoric myths, which, though free from their 

^TAbsurdity, were hardly leas perple.xing. Tlie consequence was that 

I then, as in the first instance, it would have been necessary to 
higae every point and defend every position. Nothing could be 
■ken for granted, and no narrative was possible. The matter was, 
therefore, a second time allowed quietly to drop without being 
noticed. I never, however, lost sight of the subject, and I hoped 
some time or other to be able to treat of it with the fulness its 
interest deserves ; and in order to forward this project, in July, 
^Bl860, I wrote an article in the ' Quarterly Heview,' entitled 
"' Stoneheuge,' in which I stated the views I had then formed on 
le subject ; and again, ten years afterwards, in April of last 
ir, another article, entitled ' Non-Historic Times ' in the i>ame 



juiimal, in which I added such new facta and arguments as I had 
gathered iu the interval. The principal object it was sought to 
nttjiin in writing these articles, was to raise a discussion on the 
moot points whieh I hopt?d would have tended towards settling 
tliem. If any competent archjeulogist hud come forward, and 
could have pointed out the weak point in the argument, he would 
have rendered a service to the cause ; or if any leading autliority 
had endorsed the views advocated in these articles, the public 
might have felt some confidence in their correctueea. This expec- 
tation Ima not been fulfilled, but they have probablj' not been 
without their use in preparing tho minds of others for the views 
advanced in them, while, as no refutation has upjjeared, and no 
valid objection has been urged against them, either in public 
or in private, I may fairly consider myself justified in feeling 
considerable confidence in their general correctness. 

Till autiquariea are agreed whether the circles are temples or 
tombs or observatories, whether the dolmens are monuments of 
the dead or alters for sacrificing living men, and whether the 
mounds are tombs or hiw courts, it seems impossible, without 
arguing every point, to write anything that will be generally 
accepted. Still more, till it is decided whether they are really 
prehistoric or were erected at the periods where tradition and 
history place them, it seems in vain to attempt to explain in a 
simple narrative form either their age or uses. As a necessary 
consequence of all this confusion, it is scarcely practicable at 
present to compile a work which shall be merely a Historical and 
Statistical account of the Rude Stone Monuments in all parts of 
the world; but till somethiug in settled ami agreed upon, we 
must be content with one which to a certain extent, at least, 
takes the form of an argiuneut. Jlany of its pages which would 
have been better employed in describing and classifying, are 
occupied with arguments against some untenable theory or date, 
or in trying to substitute ior those usually accepted, some more 
reasonable proposition. Notwithstuuding this, however, it is hoped 




that this work will be found to contain a greater uumber of new 
facts regarding Kude kStone Monuments, and of iiarefully j»ele<!ted 
illustrations extending ov^r a larger area, [him have yet been put 
together iu a volume of the same extent. 

It may fairly be asked, aud no doubt will, how I dare to set up 
my opinions with regard to these monuments in opposition to 
those of the best informed antiqanries, not only in this country 
but on the Continent? The answer 1 would venture to suggest 
is, that no other antiquary, so far as I am aware, has gone so 
carefully and fully into tlie whole subject, or has faced uli the 
difficulties with which the questions are everywhere perplexed. 
The books that have hitherto been written are either the work of 
speculative dreamers, like Stukeley, Higgins, or Vallancey, who 
having evolved a baseless theory out of their own inner conscious- 
ness, seek everywhere for materials to prop it up, and are by no 
means particular as to the inferences they draw from very obscure 
or slender hints : or they are, on the other hand, the works of local 
antiquaries, whose opinions are influenced mainly by what they 
find in their own researches. The works of such men are in- 
valuable as contributions to the general stock of knowle<lge, 
but their theories must be received with caution, as bsised on 
too narrow a foundation either of facta or inferences ; for it need 
hardly be insisted upon that no amount of local experience can 
qualify any one to write on such a subject as this. It does not 
even seem sufficient that an autlior should be familiar with all 
the varieties of megalithic remains. Unless he has also mas- 
tered the other forms of architectural art, and knows in what 
manner and from what motives the styles of one people are 
adopted from or influenced by that of another race, he will hardly 
be able to unravel the various tangled problems that meet bim 
at every step in such an invtstigation. When looked at, however, 
from the same point of view, and juilged by the same laws as 
other styles, that of the dolmen builders does not appear either 



mythical or mysterious. They seem to be the works of a race of 
inpn actuated by Hie same motiyes and feelings as ourselves, and 
the phenomena of their arts do not seem difficult of explarmtiou. 

It is liocansc I have spent the jj^eater part of my h'fe iu studying 
the architecture of all nations, and through all ageSj that I believe 
myself entitled to express an opinion on the perplexed questions 
connected with mepalithic remains, though it differs widely from 
that generally received, and that I dare to face the objection 
which is sure to be raised that my work is based on too narrow 
an induction, and that I have overlooked the evidences of 
primaeval man which exist everywhere. It is not, however, 
that I have neglected either the eA-idence from the drift, 
or from the caves, but that I have rejected them as irre- 
levant, and because I can hardly trace any connexion between 
them and the megalitliic remains, to the investigation of 
which this work is specially devoted. I have also purfwjsely 
put on one side all reference to hut circles, Picts' houses, 
brochs, and otlicr buildings composed of smaller stones, which 
are generally mixed up with the big stone monuments. I 
have done this, not because I doubt that many of these may 
be coeval, but because their ago being doubtful also, it would 
only confuse and complicate the argument to introduce them, and 
because, whenever the age of the great stones is determined these 
minor monuments will easily fit into their proper places. At 
present, neither their age or use throws any light either for 
or against tliat of the great stones. 

It need hardly be remarked, to anyone wLo knows anything 
about the subject, that the difficidties in the way of writing 
such a book as this are enormous, nu(] I do not believe any 
one could, in a first edition at all events, avoid all the pitfalls 
that surround his path. The necessary information has to he 
picked up in fragments from sfjmc hundreds of volumes of 
travels, or the Transacti(»ns an<l Journals of learned Societies, 
none of which are specially devoted to the subject, and very 



few of which are indexed, or have any general resuui^ of their 
contents. Add to this that the older works are all iuitrust~ 
worthy, either from the theories they are twisted to support, or 
from bad drawing or imperfect knowledge; and too many of the 
moderu examples are carelessly nketched and still more carelessly 
engraved. Another source of difficulty is, that it is rare with 
readers of papers and writers in journals to quote references, and 
sometimes when these are given they are wrong. I have thus been 
forced to limit the field from which my information is tiiken very 
considerably. I have tried hard to introduce no illustration I could 
not thoroughly depend iipoii, and I have not iuteiitiutiaMy quoted a 
single refereuce I had not verilied from the original authorities. 

In one respect I cannot but feel that I may have laid myself 
open to hostile criticism. On many minor pointi) I have offered 
suggestions which I do not feel sure that I could prove if chal- 
lenged, and which, consequently, a more prudent man would have 
left alone. I have done this because it often happens that such 
suggestions turn the attention of others to points which would 
otherwise be overlooked, and may lead to discoveries of great 
imiwrtance; while if disproved, they are only so much rubbish 
swept out of the path of truth, and their detection can do no harm 
to any one but their author. Whatever my shortcomings, I am 
too much in earnest to look lorward with any feelings of dismay 
to euch a contingency. 

Besides the usual motives which prompt the publication of such 
a work as this, there are two which seem to render its appeai-ance 
at this time particularly desirable. The first is to promote enquiry 
by exciting interest in the subject ; the second is to give precision 
to future researches. So long as everything is vague and mythical, 
explorers do not knov? what to observe or record : this work, how- 
ever, presents a distinct and positive view of the age or use of the 
megalithic remains, and every new fact must tend either to upset 
or confirm the theory it seeks to establish. With this view, I 
need hartlly add that 1 shall be extremely grateful for any new 


facte or additionul sources of iuformation which may be communi- 
Cttteil to me, either through the public press or privately. Nume- 
rous persons having local experieiico must know many things which 
may have escaped me. It is very probable that these may iuduce 
me to modify gome of the details of this work ; hut so much ia 
now known, and the field from which my inductions are guthere<l 
is 80 wide, that I have no fear that they will touch the main 
arguments on which the theory of this work is founded.' 

However this may be, I trust that this work may lay claim 
to being, in one respect at least, a contribtition to the cause of 
truth regarding the niuch-flisputed age and use of these Rude 
Stone Monuments. It states distinctly and witliout reserve one 
view of tlie tiiooteJ question, and .%5 openly that any one who 
kuowB better can at once pull avvuy the prop from my hmwe of 
cards and level it with the ground. If one thing comes out more 
clearly than another in the course of this investigation, it is that 
the style of architf'cture to which tliese monuments belong is a 
style, like Gothic, Grecian, Egyptian, Buddhist, or any other. It 
has a beginning, a middle, and an end ; and though wo cannot 
yet make out the sequence in all its details, this at least seems 
clear — that there is no great hiatus; nor is it that one part is 
prehistoric, while the otiicr btdongs to historic tinies. All belong 
to the one epoch or to the other. Either it is that Stonehcnge 
and Avebury and all such are the temples of a race so ancient as 
to be beyond the ken of mortal man, or they are tho sepulchml 
monuments of a people who lived ho nearly within the limits of the 

' Wlmt is ronlly wanU>d unw is, a 
'' Mi'Knlii'ii><: Mnuuiupiit Publiratimi 80- 
t-ifty." Aftfr tlie iuf*tiiipj of llic I'rt'- 
iiisUiru.' Cutig^cait at Norwich, n initu- 
mitU<e for ihia pnqxigo wius fDnnc*! in 
mnjuiiclion willi tho Ktlinologicn] Ro- 
ricty. After st'Viiml nuy^liiiifM every- 
tliing KM urniiigcd ond nL-ttli-cl, hut, 
uIimI there mvtv no fumln t^i mwt tlic 
iMVcheury rxp<"ri8<.'ti, or, iit Iwu't. risk nf 
fiiihliL'aiinn, ami the whiiU.> tlilii>; fi-ll 

Uimugh. Tu ilu what ia wanted on a 
r«illy ffllciciit BOttlc a (Hiynient or a guft- 
rttiitoc of jOCiO/. would he ni^v>a8ary. aud 
thut is far iH^yond what in nttniimblo in 
tluB jMNir wuiitry. If it eoidd Ix' ob- 
tAiuinl, th<> nmtorinlB urc abtiixtiiiit. t^ir 
llf-ury Drydfti alutio ooiiJii till a voliimo 
with Ibi* iiiiiti'riiiU h« iiln'nily pHitwisMt; 
imd l.ii'iit. Olivur, Mr. l4iii«fll, anil 
oIIrtb, havo drnwiiiK:) biillloi**nt to kcH'p 
tliL' 8»iML-ly lit work for a luug tiau:. 


true historic times that their story can easily be recovered. If 
this latter view is adopted, the wJiole, it appears to me, hangs so 
perfectly togetlier, and presents so complete and so rational an 
account of all the loonl or historical facts whicli are at present 
known concernin<j th<^sp remains, that I feel great ctjufldence that 
it must eventually he adopted as the true explanation of the 
phenomena. If it is it will have this further advantage, that when 
any sen'ous attempt in made to investigate either the history or 
the manners and customs of these ancient peoples, it is probable 
that thesMi megalithic remains will be found to be the best and 
surest guide. 

From the circumstances above detailed, this work would have 
been a much more meagre production thau it is hoped it will be 
found, had it not been for the kindness of maoy friends who have 
assisted me in my undertaking. My chapter on Ireland, for in- 
stance, would bave been much less full had not Sir W. Wilde, 
Mr. Eugene Conwell, and Mr. Moore assisted me with illustrations 
and information ; and for my knowledge of Scotch antiquities I 
owe much to my friend John Stuart, of Edinburgh, while Sir 
Henry Drydeu's invaluable collections have been of the utmost 
service to me both as regards Scotland and Brittany. I'rofessor 
Save and Mr. Hildebi-and have materially aided me in Sweden, 
and M. Biaiio in Spain; but the post apparently suppresses any 
correspondence on archteological subjects with France and Denmark. 
Without the kindness of Sir Bartlt; Frere and his elder brother 
in lending me drawing:*, or Colonel Colliusoii in pnieuring in- 
formation, my account of the Maltese antiquities would have been 
very much less satisfactory thau it is ; aud I also owe my best 
thanks to Mr. Walhouse, of the Madras Civil Service, and Mr. 
Durgess, of Bombay, for their assistance in resi>ect ti> Iiuliuu 
antiquities. I have tried in the text to acknowledge my obli- 
gations to theso and all other parties who have ussistt-d me. If I 
have omitted any, I trust they Avill believe it has not been inleu- 
tionnlly, l>ut through iniulvertt'uce. 


For myself, I hope I may be allowed to plead that I have 
q)ared no pains in inyestigating the materials placed at my 
disposal, and no haste in forming my conclusions ; and 1 may also 
add, they are by no means those of predilection or that I wished 
to arrive at When I first took np the subject, I hoped that the 
rude stone monuments would prove to be old,— so old, indeed, as 
to form the "inounabula " of other styles, aud that we might thus, 
by a simple process, arrive at the genesis of styles. Bit by bit 
that theory has crumbled to pieces as my knowledge iucreased, 
and most reluctantly have I been forced to adopt the more prosaic 
conclusions of the present volume. If, however, this represents 
the truth, that must be aUowed to be an ample compensation for 
the loss of any poetry which has hitherto hung round the mystery 
of the Kude Stone Monuments. 

Langham Place, Dec. 1, 1871. 



Imtboouotobt 1 


PBKLnoMAST OBSKBVATtoiiB. Tumiili — Dolmeos — Circles —Aveunea 

—Menhirs 29 

Ekolaku. Avebury and Stonehenge 61 


MiNOK Enolihu Amtiuuitibi). AyleBfurd — Ashdown — Rollright — 
Penrith — Derbyshiro — Stanton Ditjw — Smaller Circles — 
Dolmens 116 


Ireland. Moytura — Cemeteries — Boyne — LoQgh Crew — Clover 

Hill— Dolmens 175 


SouTLAKD. Orkney Stone Circles— Orkney Barrows — Maes-Howe 
Dragon and Serpent-Knot — Holed Stone of Stennis — Callemish 
— Aberdeenshire Circles — Fiddes Hill — Clava Mounds — Stone 
at Aberlcmmo — Sculptured Stones — Crosses in Isle of Man .. 239 



Scandinavia and Nobth Gebmant. Introductory — Battle-fields 
— Harald Hildetand's Tomb — Long Barrows — Tnmoli — 
Dolmens — Drentho: Hnnebods 275 


Fbancs. Introductory — Distribution of Dolmens — Age of Dol- 
mens — Grottes des Fees — Demi-Dolmens — Bocking Stones 
— Camac — Locmariaker — Alignments at Crozon — Ago of 
the Monuments — What are these Monuments ? — They must 
be Trophies — Time of the Fight — M. Bertrand's List of 
Dolmens in Thirty-one Departments of France 325 


Spain, Poktuoal, and Italy. Introductory — Dobucns — Portugal 

— Italy 377 


A LOERiA AND TRIPOLI. Introductory — Bazinas and Chouchas — 
Froe-Standing Dobuens — Age of Dolmens — Circle near Bona 
— The Nasamoncs — Origin of African Dolmen-Builders — 
Tripoli: Trilithons — Buddliist Monument at Bangkok .. .. 395 


Meditkkuankan Islands. Malta — Sardinia — Balearic Islands 115 


Wehtekn Asia. Palestine — Sinai — Arabia — Asia Minor — Cir- 

cassia — Tlio Stopiws — Cabul 438 




India. Introductory — Eastern India — Ehassia — Western India 

— Geographical Distribution — Age of the Stone Monuments 

— Comparison of Dolmens — Buddhism in the West .. .. 455 

Amkrica. North America — Central America — Peru 510 

Appendix A.— Glens Columbkille and Malin 520 

„ B. — Oden's Howe, &c., XJpsala 526 

„ C. — Antiquities of Caithness 527 

Indrx 533 

( xvii ) 


FROTrrspircE. — St.indiuEr Stones of St«nni(. Vioxettk. — Demi-Dolmen at Kerland. 

1. Sffctiiin of Tomb of Alyattos ,, 

3. Eleration of I'nmulbK at TantaUii 
3i. Plan nod SertioD of Chamber io 

TamaltK at TantAlais 

4. Section am] Plan of Tomb of Atrens 

■t MfC«DIC 

5. View of Cocnmella, Vnlci . . 

6. View of principal Chamber in 

Ikcgalinl Oaleiusi Torab .. 

7. Dolmen in C-aatle Welliio, Ireland 

a. Dolmen de BoiLM|Det 

9. Tec cat in the Rock on a Dagoba 


10. Nine Lad ie«, Stanton Moor ., 

11. Chambered Tumnlus, Jersey 

12. Arenuea, Circles, and Cromlech, 

neur Merivale Bridge, Dai-tmoor 

13. Locbcrisl Menhir 

14. View of Avebnry re«lored .. 

15. PUn of AvrhuryCircle nnd Kennet 


16. Cirde uu Hakpen Hill 

17. Section of Silbury Hill .. .. 
la. Iron Bit of Bridle, SUbnry Hill .. 

19. Plan of Avebury 

aO. Elcration of the Bartlow HilU .. 

21. Manlen Circle 

22. General Plan of Stonehenge 

23. Stonehenge a« at present exitting 

24. Plan of Stonebenge restored 

26. Totnb of Uidorus, at Khatoura .. 
2(5. Country around Stoncheugi; 
ItV. Countle** Stones, Ayle.sf()ni 

28, The Sarsen Stones nt Ashdown . . 

29. SIcelch Plan it( Kiug Arthur's 

Rnimd Table, with the side, 

obliterated by the road, restored 

ao. Arbor Low 

31. Vases and Broiue Pin found in 

Arl>or Low 

33. SMtion of Gib Hill 

M. Sommit of Minning Low, aa It 

appeared in ITSO 

M. Plan of Chambi-rs in Minning I.nw 
13. Fragment of Drinking Cup from 

Benty Gr.iogp „ 






































































Fragment of Helmet from Benty 

Grange 145 

Circles at Stiibton Drew ,. .. 149 
View of the Circles at Stanton 

Drew 150 

Ri«e Hill TiiBdulus 155 

Sunflle-Bit fonad at Aspatria ., 156 
Side Stone, Anpntrin Ci»t .. .. 157 
Mnlv Hill, I»lo of Man, View of 

Cists 158 

Circle of Cists nl .Mule Hill .. 158 
Circle* on Burn Moor, in Cumber- 
land 160 

BoAcawen Circlea IGI 

Pork Cwn Tumulna 164 

Tuinijln.<| I'hi* Sewydd .. .. 167 
Entrance to Dolmen, in Tumulus, 

Plaa Newydd ..167 

Dolmen at Pentre Ifan .. .. 168 
Dolracn nt Plas Newydd .. .. 169 
Arthur's Qnoit, (lower .. .. 170 
Plan of .Arthur's Qnoit .. .. 171 
Hob Hnvst'ii Houic. on Baslow 

Moor, Derbyshire 172 

Circle un Battle-field of Southern 

Moytura 177 

Cnim on Battle-field of Southern 

Moytura 178 

Tlie Cairn of the "One Man," 

Moytura 179 

Urn in the Cairn of the "One 

Man," Miiytara 179 

Bflttlv-ficid of Northern Moytura 181 
Sketch IMan of Circle 27, Northern 

Moytura 182 

View of Circle 27, Northern 

Mijytum 183 

Dolmen, with Circle, Jfo. 7, North- 
ern Mnytura 183 

Rath na Riog, or, Cathair of Cor- 

ni.-w, ;it Tura 194 

View of Mound at New Grange .. 201 
New Grange, near Drogheda . . 203 
66. Ornaments at New Grange . . 206 
Branch at New Grange .. ,. 207 
Sculptured mark at New Grange, 
of undfcid'd character .. .. 207 

^ xviii LIST OF 






Pas I 1 

^^^^B b9. Clmmlicni in Mound at Dowtb . . 



Triple Dolmen, HoUsch .. .. 

309 * 

^^^^H 70,71. Ornuiuents ia Oovtii .. 



View of Interior of Chamber at 

^^^H 73. Cnirn T, at Uugh Crew . . . . 




^^^H 7 A. Th« Hag'H Cbuir, Longh Crew .. 



Plan of Chamber at Uby .. .. 


^^^H 74. Two StoDcs in Cairn T, Longh 


Dolmen at Aievalla 


^^^1 Crew 



Hend-stoDfl of Kirik Grnrc 


^^^H 7.^ Cell in Cairn L, nt Longh Crew 



Grares at Hjortehammer .. 


^^^^1 76. Stone in Cuiro T, Longh Crew .. 



Circles at Ascheorade 


^^^^H 77. Stones in Sculptured Graves, 


Plnn of Hunebed near Emmen .. 


^^H CluvcrHill 



Dolmen at Ballo 


^^^^1 78. Dolmcti nt Knockeen 



Dolmen at Saacli&res 


^^^^1 79, Plan of Dolmen at Knoclsecn 



Dolmen at Confoleii* 


^^^H 80. Calllagh Birm's House, north end 


Plan of Dolmen nt Cunfolens .. 


^^^^^1 of Parish of Moiusterbnice 



Itol men near Mcttray 


^^^^H 81. Flan and Sectiim of Cbumber in 


Dulmcn nt Krukcnho 


^^^^^B Greenmttunt Tumulus 



ILiled [lotmen, at Trie 


^^^H 82. Dolnii<n of llio Four Maolii, 




Dolmen of Gnindmont 

344 . 

^^^H S3. Sketuh-rian of Monument in the 


Demi-dolmen, Mor)jihan .. 

345 1 

^^H Deer Park, Sligo 



Demi-dulmeu, near Poitiers 


^^^H 84. Circle Bl Stennia 



Demi-<lolmen at Kerlaod ,. 


^^^^1 85. Dragon in Mncs-Uowe 



Pierre Martiue 

347 1 


^^^^H 86. Wurm-Koot, Mae>-Howe 



Pierre Mart iae, end view .. 

^^^^1 87. Plan and Se<.'lioQ of Maes-Howe 



Picrn? Umiilnnte, near Huelgoat, 

^^^H 88. View of Chain)>er in Maea-Howa 


in Brittany 


^^^^B 89. Monanieut at Cnllemith .. 



Map of Celtic Antiquities, near 

^^^1 90. Circle at Fiddes mil .. .. 




^^^1 91. Plan uf Clara Mounds .. .. 



Carnac Antiquities, on enlarged 


^^^1 92. View of Clnra Honoda .. .. 



Head of Column at St.-Bnrbe .. 

^^^H 93. Stone at CoiUfield 

^^^H 94. Front of Stono at Aberlemmo, 
^^^^B with Cross 



I<ang Barrow at Kerlescaut 
Hole between Two Stones at Ker- 


^^^^1 9.5. Back of Stone at AUerlemmo 



Entrance to Cell, Rodmarton .. 


^^^1 9C. Cat Stone, Kirkliston .. .. 

272 ' 


Vasvs found at Kerlescant 


^^^^1 97, 98. Crosses in Isle of Man, bearing 
^^^^1 Runic IttscriptiunB 



PliiD uf Moustoir-Camac .. 

358 1 

^^^H 99. View of Battle-field at Kongs- 


Section of Moiistoir-Camnc 


^^^H Ucka 



Section of Chamber of Moustoir- 

^^^H 100. Part of the Battle-field of Braa- 



^^^H TalUllealh 



146. Scniptares at Man^ Lad ., 


^^^1 101. Harald Uildetand's Tomb at 


View of Dol ar Marchaut .. 


^^^H Lcthra 



End Stone, Del ar Marchant ., 


^^^^1 102. Long Barrow, Kcnnet, restored 
^^^H by Dr. Thurnam 


Hatchet an Hoof of Dol ar Mar- 

284 ' 



^^^H 103. Long Barrow at Wiskehlfad, In 


Stone found inside Chamber at 

^^H Halland 


Man^ er H'ro*k 


^^^1 104. Battle-field at Freyrso .. .. 



Plan of Gavr Innis 


^^^H 105. Drneon on King Gorm's Stone, 


Sculptures at Gavr Innis .. 




Holed Stone, Gavr Innis .. 


^^^H 106. Dolmen at Herrestnip 



Alignments at Crozon 


^^^H 107. Dolmen at Halikor 



View of the Interior of Dolmen 

^^^^1 108. Dolmen at Oroust 


at Antequeru 


^^^H 109. Diagram from Sjoborg 

307 ' 


Plan of Dolmen called Cuera d« 

^^^H 110. Dolmen near LUnehurg 

308 I 

Menga, ncir Antequera .. 


^^^^H HI. Doable Dolmen at Valdbygaards 



Dolmen del Tio Cogolleros . . 


^^^B 112. Plan of Double Dolmen at Vald- 


Sepult urn Grande 


^^^^H bygaards 





Plnn of Dolmen at Egnilar 





I*lasarD«>liiiea»tCaiipudeODlj 387 
r)nlm«it of San Miguel, at Arri- 
chin«g» 388 

162. Dolmen At Arrojolo* 389 

163. Dolmen at Saturnia 392 

|t>4. Bftiiu 397 

165. Oioucha 398 

166. Dolmen on St«pa 398 

167. Tnmoli, with IntrnnixiMte Lia«« 

otSionn 399 

168. Gmup of Sejiulchntl Mnnumentt, 

Algeriu 399 

169. Plan aoil Elevation of African 

Tamulos 400 

170. Dolmen with Two Grcle* of 

Stone* 401 

i7L Dolmens on the Rood from Bona 

to Con-itaDtine 402 

IT3. Four Cairns enclosed in Squares 402 

173. Tomb» near DjidjeU 404 

174. Cirrle n«ar Bona 405 

175. Trilithon at K».iea 411 

176. Trilithon at Elkcb 413 

177. BuddhiKt MoDum«nt at Bangkok 413 

178. Giant.' Tower at Gozo ,.417 

179. Plan of Monnmeat of Mijflidrs.. 419 

180. S«etion through Lower Pair of 

ChainberSr Mnaidra ,, 419 

181. Entrance to Chamber B,Mniudra, 

chiiwing Table inside . . . . 420 
W2. North End of Left-hand Outer 

Chamber at Mcaidra .. .. 421 

183. Plan of Hagiar Khem, partially 

rectorod 423 

184. View of Madracen 424 

185. Nurhag 428 

186. Nnrhag of Santa Barbara.. .. 428 

187. Section and Groiind-planof Nnr- 

hng of Santa liurbara , , . . 429 

188. Map of La Giiira 430 

I8'.l. Talvot at Trfpuc6, Minorca .. 435 

190. Talyot at Alajor, Minorca . . 435 

191. Dolmen* nt Kafr cr Wal .. ..441 

192. HoW Dolmen 4+7 

193. Holed Dolmen, Circaania .. ..447 

194. Baba 449 

Four-comcred Grare .. .. 449 

lus at Alexandropol . . . . 450 



Cncovered Baie of a Tnmnlna at 

Nikolajew 451 

Circle near Peihnwnr .. .. 452 
Circle at J>uh Aych, near Darab- 

gerd 453 

View in Khauia Hills .. .. 462 
Khnssia Funereal Scats .. .. 463 

Menhirs .ind ThMm 464 

Turbnn Slonc, with Stone Table 464 

Trilithon 464 

Dolmen at Rajunkoloor .. .. 468 
Plan of Open Dolmen at Rajun- 
koloor 469 

Closed Dolmen at Rajnnko- 

loor .. .. 469 

View of Closed Dolmen at Rajun- 
koloor 469 

Arrangement of Dolmens at Ra- 
junkoloor 470 

Caims at .Inwnrgi 471 

212. Sections of Cairn at Jewnrgi 471 
Double Dolmen, Coorg .. .. 473 

Tomb, Nilgiri Hills 473 

Sepulchral Circles at AmraTati.. 474 
Iron Pillur at the Kutub, Delhi .. 481 
Sculpture on under side of cap- 
stone of Kilgiri Dolmen .. .. 483 

Dolmen at IwuUeo 484 

Flan of Ston« Monomentc at 

Sbahpoor 485 

Cross at Katapnr 486 

Dolmen at Kntapur 487 

Dolmen with Cross in Nirmul 

Jnngle 488 

Lanka Ramayana Dngoba.. .. 490 
Dolmen nt PuUicondah .. .. 491 
Rail at Snnchi, near Bhilsa .. 493 
View of the Senbya Pagoda, Bar- 

mah '. 497 

Enclosure in Newark Works, 

North America 511 

Plan of Uprights, Cromlech D I., 

Columbkille 521 

Position of Stones of D IIL .. 532 

Plan of D VI 523 

Plan, of Cromlcclis of Group K . . 523 
, Horoed Cairn, Caithness .. .. 528 
. Dolmen near Bona, Algeria .. 532 

I Mar lUiisirating the dislribntion of Dolmens to he placed at the end of the Volume. 



So great and so successful has been the industry recently npplied 
to suLjects of areh»oIogical research that few of the many 
problems in that science which filty years ago seemed hopelessly 
mysterious now remain unsolved. Little more than forty yeara 
have elapsed since Chainpollion's disroverios enabled us to 
fla««ify and understand the wonderful monuments of the Nile 
Valley. The deciphering of the cuneiform churacters has in 
like manner enabled us to arrange and affix dates to the temples 
and pnLices of IJabylon and Nineveh. Everything that was 
built by the Grteks and the Romans has been surveyed and 
illiislriited ; and all the niedin>val styles that arose out of them 
have been reduced to intelligible sequences. The rock-cut 
temples of India, and her still more mysterious dagobas, have 
been brought within the domain of history, and, like those of 
Burmah, Cambodia, or China, shown to be of comparatively 
modem date. The monuments of Mexico and Peru may be said 
still to defy those who are endeavouring to wrest their secrets 
from them ; but even for these a fairly approximate date has been 
obtaineiL But amidst all these triumphs of wolUiirected research 
tliere still remain a ga-eat group of nionuinents at our own doors, 
regarding whose uses or dates opinions are nearly as much divided 
as they were in the days of rampant empiricism in the last 
century. It is true that men of science do not now [ircUnd 
to see Druids sacrificing thrir bleeding victims on the altar at 
Stonelienge, nor to be able to trace the folds of the divine serpent 
through miles of upright stones at Caruac or at Avelniry ; but all 
they iiavo yet achieved is siinjile mibelief in the pojnilur fallacies, 
nor have they hitherto ventured to supply anything better to take 




their places. They still call the ciicles teniples, but without 
being able to saggest to what god they were dedicated, or for 
what rites they were appropriate, and, when asked as to the 
age in which they were erected, ciin only re|)ly in the words of 
the song, thut it was " long long ago." 

This state of affairs is emineutlv unsntisfuctor^', but at the 
enme time to a great extent excHsablo. Indeed it is not at first 
sight easy to see how it is to be remedied. The biiildei-s of tlic 
megalithic remains were utterly illiterate, and have left no written 
n'cords of tlieir erection ; nor are there nny legible inscriptions 
on the more important niuniiments whit-h would afford nny hinta 
to the enquirer. What is even more disheartening is that in 
almost every instance they are comjwsed of rough unhewn stones, 
not only without any chisel marks, bat even vrithout any 
architectural mouldings capable of being compared with those 
of other monuments, or, by their state of preservation, of giving 
a hint as to their relative age. 

" They stand, but stand in silent and uncommnnicative mnjcsly." 

So silent, indeed, that it is hiinlly to be wondered at that fanciful 
antiqnaries have supplied tliem with voices most discordantly an<l 
absurdly various, or, ou tiie otlier hand, tliat the letter class of 
enquirers have slmink from the long patient investigations and 
thoughtful ponderings which are necessary to elicit even a modicum 
of trutli from their stolid reticence. 

If the invest igalidn into the age and uses of the megalithic 
remains were a new subject which liad for the firsit time been taken 
up some thirty or forty years ago, it is probable that a solution 
might have been obtained before now, or at all events would 
not be far off. When, liowever, an investigation gets into a 
tluiroughly vicious groove, as tin's one hjis done, it is very 
difficult to rescue it from its false position. The careless are 
willing to accept any empiiical soUitinns tliat are offered, how- 
ever absurd they may W, and tlio thoughtful arc deterred from 
meddling with an enquiry which has hitherlo led only to such 
irrational conclusions. 

The first of those wlio, in this country at least, led off the wild 
dance was the celebrated Iiiigo Jones, the architect of WliitehalL 



seems tliat when Kiug James L was on a visit to the Earl of 

Pembroke at Wilton, he was taken to see Stonehenge, and was so 

struck with its majesty and mysteiy that he onlered his arcliitcct 

to find out by whom it was built, and for what purpose, ^^'llether 

tlie treatise containing tlie result of his enquiries was ever submitted 

^Bb tlie King is not clear. It certainly was not published tdl after 

^Hts author'ti death, and though it shows a very creditable amount 

^ftf learning and research, the results he arrived at were very 

^HtarlLing. After a detailed statement of the premises, his con- 

^Blasions — ^os cjudensed in the Life prefixed to his treatise — were 

^^•Tliat it Wiis a lloman temjile, inscribed to Ccelus, the senior of 

the heathen gods, and built after the Tuscan order." 

This theory was attacked by Dr. Charleton, one of the physician; 

Charles II. He had corrcspimied for some time witli Olaus 

^irmius, tlie celebratwl Danish aiitiijuary, and struck with the 

larity iu form and of coustructiou that c•xi^ted between 

le monuments iu Denmark ami those of this eouutry, he came 

Uie conclusion that Stont-heage and other similur moiuimeuts 

rere erected by the Danes, and consequently after the departure 

the Ri^imans. This attack on the theory of laigo Jones rai.<ed 

le wrath of a Mr. Webb, by marriage a relative, who replied 

a very angry treatise, iu which ho reiterates all Jones's argu- 

leut^ and then, adding a considerable number of his own, lie 

:>Dcludcs by triumphimtly — as he supposes— restoring Stone- 

»iigo to the Il(jman.«.' 

far no gre^it harm was done ; but Dr. Stukeh'y, who next 

vd in the controversy, «aa one of the most imaginative of 

I And one of the wildest of theorists. His studies had made 

Mm familiar with the Druids, whom eltiss."cal authorities describe 

tJie all-jKJWcrful priests of the Celtic race, bat who had no 

'tuples; on the other iiand, his travels made him acquainted with 

touehctigo and Avebury, to the latter of which attention had just 

called by the researches of his friend Aubrey. Here, then, 

temples «Jlliout priests. What could be so natural as to join 

' Tli<m' llir<H< trt'atisn «erp nrterwnrdB re] nliti«hc«l In one vrlunip, email fnlin, 
riUi aU tho pltttis, 4.C,, in \a nduu, 1725. It w I'rom tliis volume Unit the bIx)vc is 

JI li 



these two, though in most unholy matrimony. Our stone ciicles 
must he temples of the Draids ! But there was still one difficulty. 
Wijat divinities did they worship tliercin? Caesar tells us that 
the Celts or Celtic Druids jiriiifipidly worshipped Mercury and 
some other lloman gotis whom he named ;^ but no images of 
these gods are found in these templ&s, nor anything that would 
indicate a dedication to their worship. Unfortunately, however, 
Pliny* tolls a very silly tule, how in Gaul the snakes meet together 
on a certain day and manufacture from their spittle an egg 
(An^jiuinum), which, when complete, they throw aloft, and if any 
one wants it, he must c;»teh it in a blanket before it falls to the 
grouu'I, and ride oil" with it on a fleet horse, for if the snakes catch 
him before he crosses a running stream, a worse fate than Tam o* 
Slmnter's may befall hira! lie then goes on to add that this egg 
was considered us a charm by the Druids. From this last hint 
Dr. Stukeley cont'ludetj that the Druids were serjwnt-worshippers, 
and consequently that Stonehenge, Arebury, &c., were seriieut 
temple-? — Draroatia, as ho calls theia, daringly assuming tliat a 
word, which in the singular was only the name of a plant, was 
nctunlly a])plied by the ancients to serpent temples, of the form 
of which, however, they were as ignorant as the Doctor himself 
Having advanced so far, it ouly remained to adapt the English 
circles to this newly discovered form of worship, and Avehury waa 
chosen as the pi iucipal illustration. There was a small circle on 
tlakjien Hill, which had a stone avenue formed by six or eight 
stones nmning e:ist and west ; between West Kennet and Avebury 
there was another avenue leadiug to the circles, but trending north 
and south. By introducing a curved piece between these frag- 
ments, Ilakpen became the head of the snake, the avenue its body ; 
Avebury a convfduted part c>f it, and (lien a tail was added, a 
mile long, on the authority of two stones in the village, and 
a dolmen, culled Long Stone Cove, about half-way between Ave- 
bury and the end of the tail I Stanton Drew and other circles 
were treated in the same way ; curved avenues, for which there is 
not a shadow of authority, except iu the Doctor's iningination, were 
added wherever required, and serpents manufactured wherever 

' Cicsiir, ' Do Bell. Cftl.' vi IS- 20. 

» ' Hist Nnt." xxix. 3 




vvanteil. It never eeoins ewu to have occurred to the Doctor 
or his contemporaries to ask whether, in any time or place, any 
temple was ever built in the form of the gods to bo worshipped 
therein or thereat, or how any human being could discover the 
form of the serpent in rows of stones stretching over hills and 
valleys, crossing streams, and hid occasionally by mounds and 
earthworks. On a map, with the missing parts supplied, this is 
easy enough ; but there were no maps in those days, and in the 
open country it would puzzle even the most experienced surveyors 
to detect the serpent's form. 

Had so silly a fabrication been put forward in the present day, 
it probably would have mot with tlio contempt it deserves; but 
the strangest part of the whole is that it was then accepted as a 
revelation. Even -so steady and so well informed an antiquary 
as Sir llichard Colt Hoare adopts Dr. Stukeley's views without 
enquiry. His magnificent works on ' Ancient and BLMlero 
Wiltshire,' which are not only the most splendid, but the most 
valuable works of their class which this country owes to the 
liberality and industry of any individual, are throughout dis- 
figured by this one great blemish- lie sees Druids and their 
Draj^ons everywhere, and never thinks of enquiring on what 
authority their existence rests. 

It is not of course for one moment meant to contend that there 
were not Druids in Europe in ancient days. Caesar's testimony on 
this point is too distinct, and his knowledge was too accurate to 
admit -of any doubt on this point. It is true, however, that the 
description of them given by Diodorus,' ami StraLo,' who mix thera 
up with the bards and soothsayers, detracts somewhat from the 
pre-eminence he assigns to them : but this is of minor imjiortance. 
The Druids were certainly the priests of the Celts, and had their 
principal seat in the country of the Carnittcs, near Clmrtres, where, 
however, megalithic remains are few uiid far between. Neither 
Ccesar, however, nor any one else, ever pretended to have seen a 
Druid in England. Suetonius met "Drnidfe" in tlio Island of 
Anglesea (Mona),^ but none were ever hoai'd of in \\'iltshire, or 
Derbyshire, or Cumberland, where the principal monuments are 

•Uutarl*.'T. 31. 

• Gcographica,' W. 273. ' Tacilua. 'Arm.' xtv. 20. 




situated ; nor in tho Western Islands, or in Scondinftvia. Still less 
are they known in Algeria or India, where these nicgalithic 
remains al)Oimd. Acconliup; to the Welsh Ixirdu and Irish aimalistc:, 
there were Dniids in Wales and Ireland before the intitwluction 
of Christianity. But, even admitting this, it does not help us 
much ; as even there they are nowhere connected with the class 
of nionniuents of whifh we are now treating. Indeed, it lias 
been contended lately, and with a considerable show of reason, 
that the Celts thetnselyes, even in France, had nothing to do 
with these monuments, and that they belong to an entirely 
diffennt race of pcoph-.^ It is nut, in short, at all nwessary to 
deny either the existence of the iJruids or their ]>ower. Tho 
real diiliciilty ia to connect them in any way, directly or indi- 
rectly, with tlie stone monuraents: and it seems still more difficult 
t<:> prove that the Cills ever woi>ilii])[)L>d the serpent in any sha]>e 
or form.' 

Notwithstanding all this, in the present century, an educated 
peutlenian and a clergyman of the Church of England, the Kev. 
Iiathiiri<t Dentie, ado[it3 iinliesitatingly nil that Stukeley and his 
school had put forward. He took the trouble of going to Brittany, 
ac^tnipanied by a competent surveyor, and made a careful plan 
of the alignnieats of Caiuac.'' Like the avenues at Avebury, 
they certainly bore no resemblance to serpent forms, to eyes 
profane, but looked rather like two straight lines running nearly 
iwrallel to one another at a distance of about two miles apart. 
But may not an intermediate curvilinear piece some three miles 
lung liavo existed in the gap and so joined tlie head to the tail? 
It is in vain to urge that no trace of it now exists, or to ask how 
any hiiraau being could trace the forms of serpents seven or eight 
niiles long in an undulating country, and how or in what manner, 
or to what part of this strange dei(y or monster, he was to adilress 
his prayers. 

It would be incorrect, however, to represerit all antiquaries as 

' See coHirovPTfiy between M. iScr- 
tmnd imd St. Ht-nri Miirtiii, in vohmir of 
•CVmgrv-M pr^iBtorique' (Paris. 18r,7), 193, 
207, d'c. Sec nlao' Hcvue udieologique,' 
ouOt, 186(, 144. 

* For further infunnstion on the mil)- 

jc<?t, the n^odi'r is referred to ' Tree ood 
Sorpont Wornliip," by tlio niithor, p. 2B 
fl frqq,, wlicro tho aulyict is iriuled of 
tit lenptli. 

' • Arcluoologia,' xxv. 188 W •'79. 



atiopting tho Ophite heresy. Another group have iirgiied stoutly 
tliat Stonehenge waa aa observatory of the British Druids. This 
theory was apparently suggested by views puljlislud by Daiiiell* 
and otiiers of the obsorvutoriea erected by .ley Sing of Jeypore 
at Delhi, Ougein, Bemires, and elsewhere in India. All these, 
it is true, possess great circles, but each of all tlieso circles 
contains a gnomon, which is as essential a part of such an nstro- 
uoraical instrument as it is of a siin-dial, and no trace of such 
a feature, it need Imrdly be said, occurs in any British circle. 
Ouo antiquary, who ought to he better informed,' concluded 
that Stonehenge was iin observatory, bccunse, sitting on a st»inu 
called the Altar on a Midsnmmer morning, ho saw the sun 
ri«e behind a stone called the Friar's Heel. Tiiis is the only 
rt-corded observation ever made there, so far as I know; and 
if this is nil, it is evident that any two stones wonkl have 
answered the purjiose equally woll, and as the Altar stone is 
sixteen feet long, it allows a latitude of observation that augurs 
ill for the Druidical knowledge of the exact sciences. Neither 
Jlr. Ellis, however, nor Dr. Smith, nor the Kev. Jfr. Duke," 
nor indeed any of those who have taken up the astronomical 
theory, have yet [winted oat one single observation that could be 
made by those ■circles that could not be made as well or better 
without tlM?m. Or, if they were orreries, as is sometimes pre- 
tended, no one has explained what they record or represent in 
any manner that would be intelligible to any one else. Till 
some practical astronomer will come forwartl and tell us in 
intelligible language what observations could be perftujued uith 
iho aid of the circles of Stonehenge, we may be at least allowed 
to i)ause. Even, however, in that ease, unless his theory will 
a{>ply to Avebnry, Stant(m Drew, and other circles so irregidar 
as to be almost unmeasurable, it will add little to our kuow- 

It might be an amusing, though it certainly must be a 
profitli.iss, tii>;k to enlarge on these and all the other guesses which 
have from time to time been mjule with regard to these mysterious 
remains. It is not, however, probable that theories so utterly 

• Mr. Ellix. • nci4t. Mag.' 4lJi series, ii. 317. 

• •Proceedings of tbc Arohatilngiciil lusliluU*, Paliubury/ voliuuo 113. 



gronndless will be put forward again, or, if promulgated, that they 
will be listened to in future. The one excuse for them hitherto 
^las been that their authors have been deprived of all their usual 
sources of iulbrmation iu this matter. It is not too much to assert 
that there is not one single poflBage in any classical author which 
can be construed as alluding directly or indirectly to the mega- 
lithic remains on these isles or on the continent. With all their 
learning and iudustry, the antiquaries of the last century could 
only find one passage which, with all their misapplied ingenuity, 
they could pervert to their purposes. It was this — in bis second 
book, DiodoriLs, quoting from HecataMis, mentions that in an island, 
not less in size than Sicily, and opposite to Ocltica, there existed 
among the Bvpcrborcans a circular temple magnificently adorned.' 
Btukeley and his followers immediately jumjied to the conclusion 
that the ishmd not less than Sicily and o|»posite Gaul must be 
England, anrl the circular temple Stonehenge, which was conse- 
quently dedicated to Apollo and the serpent Python, and our 
forefathers were the Hyperboreans, and our intercourse with 
Greece clear and frequL'ut. It is marvellous what a super- 
structure was raised on such a basis. But against it may be 
urgfd that the whole of the second book of Diodorus is dedicated 
soIlIv to a description of Asia, In the, preceding chapter he 
describes the Auiazons, who, if they ever exijited, cerlainly lived 
in that quarter of tho globe. In tho following chapters he 
describes Arabia, and even in this one (xlvii.) he speaks of the 
Hyperboreans as iuhabiting the northern parts of Asia. liy 
the utmost latitude of interpretation we might assume this 
island to have been iu the Baltic — CEsol probably, Gothland 
possibly, but certainly not further west. It is impossible Diwlorus 
could be mistaken in the matter, for in his fifth book he 
describos the British Isles iu their proper pliice, and with n 
very considerable degree of accuracy.* But, after all, what dues 
it amount to? In this island there was a circular temple. We are 
not told whtther it was of wood or of stone, whether hypa?thral, or 
roofed, or vaulted, and certainly there is not a shadow of a hint 
that it was comjKjsed of a circle of rude stones like those in this 

' Diodonia, ii. 47. 

Ibid. T. 21 el inqq. 




country with wLich the antiquaries of th© lust century tried to 
assimilate it. 




wondered at if all tliis rashnesa of specul 
and carelsHsnees in quotation should have produced a belief that 
the solution of the problem was impossible from any literary fir 
liistorical data, or if consequently our moilern antiquaries shouM 
have grasped with avidity at a scheme, first proptised by the Danes, 
which seemed at all events to place the question on a scientific 
basis. No country could well bo more favourably situated fur 
an enquiry of this sort than Denmark. It is rich in megalillito 
remains of all sorts. Its tumuli aud tombs seem generally to 
have been undisturbed; and it was exceptionally fortunate in 
having a government with suflk-ifnt common sense to enact a law 
of treasure-trove, so just and, at the same time, so liberal as to 
prevent all metal articles from finding their way to the melting 
pot, and governors so intelligent as fully to appreciate the scientific 
valae of these early remains. In consequence of all this, the 
museums at Copenhagen were soon tilled with one of the richest 
collections of antiquities of this sort that was ever collected, 
and when brought together it was not difficult to perceive 
the leading features that connected them in one coutinuoixs 

First it appeared that there was an age extending into far pre- 
hi-storic times, when men used only implements of stone aud bono, 
aud were ignorant of the use of any of the metals; then that an 
age had succeeded to this when the use of bronze was known, aud 
also probably that of gold; and, lastly, that there was a third age, 
when iron had been introduced and harl superseded the use of all 
other metals for weapons of war and \itilitarian purposes. 

The Danish antiqinxries were somewhat divided in ojiinion as -to 
tlie exact period when bronze was first introduced, some carrying 
it back as far as 2000 d.c, others doubting whether it was known 
in Denmark more than lOUU or 12tJU years u.c. ; but all agreed 
that iron was introduced about the Christian era. Having satisfied 
themselves on these points, the Danish antiquaries proceeded at 
once to apply this system to the monuments of their country. 
Any tomb or tumulus which was devoid of any trace of metal was 




dated at oiu-e at Ivnst lOOU, prubably 2000, years before Cbrist, 
nnd might bo 10,000, or 20,000 years old, or even etill older. 
Any tunib cotiJaiiiiiig bronze was at once set duwn us dnting 
between the war of Troy and the Cliristian era; and if a trace of 
iron was detected, it was treated as giibscqueut to the last-named 
eprwli. but still as anterior to the introrluotion of Christianity, 
which in Dciimiirk dates about tlie year 1000 a.p. 

This system seemed so reasonable and jiliilosophicnl, compared 
with tho wild theories of the British antiquaries of the last centnry, 
that it was instantly adopted both in the country of its birth and in 
England and France; and the succession of tho three aj^es — stone, 
bronze, nnd iron — was generally looked upon as firmly established 
as any fact in chronology. Gradually, however, it has been per- 
ceived that the hard anil fast line at first drawn between them 
cannot be maintained. At the last meeting of the International 
Arehieidogical Congress, held at Cojteuhageu in the antnnin of 
1869, it was admitted on all hands that there was a considerable 
overlap between each of the three ages, Jlen did not imme- 
diately cease to \i>e stone implements when bronze was intro- 
dnced; and bronze continued to be emj)loyed for many purposes 
after the use of iron was well known.' Antiquaries have not yet 
made up their minds to what extent the overlap look plnce; but 
on its deterniiuation depends the whole value of the scheme as a 
elironometiic scale. 

If the Danes, instead of breaking np their ''finds" and dis- 
Iributint; them in cases nccurdiiig to a pre-eouceivid system, had 
kept nnd published a careful record of the places where tlie con- 
tents of their museums were found, and in what juxtaposition, 
we should not probably be in our present difficulty. Under the 
circumstances, it is perhaps fortunate that we hud no central 
museum, but that our autiquariea have published cnreful narra- 
tives of their proceedings. Sir liichard Colt Hoare's great works 
uro models of their class, but are scarcely to be depended upon 

' The voliiino containing the account 
of lh(> pnjcoodiDgs of the congren tioa 
i>ot ypt bp<'n pukliinLeil ; 8o tboso who 
were not prcj«>nt cannot feel sure to 
Hh»t extent iUete uiatliflrolions were 

caiTiefl or tvlmitti.-<t. A sliori nftymnt 
of tlio CotoKTi-sa wnfl ptil>liri|ii<d liy Oen. 
I^froy, in tbe ' Jounial of the Ak-Iiido- 
logical Institute,' Nov. 18C9, p. S(i «l 




ill the present instance, as the iinportanca of flint and ilint iiujiit-- 
uients was not appreciated in his time to tlie extent it now is.' 
The explorations of the Mt-ssrs. Bateman in Derbyshire are more 
completely up to the murk of tlio science of the preseut day. 
A few extracts from one of their works will show how various and 
how mixed the contents of even a single groxip of tombs are, 
and will prove consequently how little dependence can be placed 
on any one class of objects to fix the age of tbc^e nionnuR'nts. 

In his 'Vestiges of the Antiqiiitii's of JteibyHbire,' publielicd in 
iy48 by Thomas Batemnn, we find the ibltowing among otbcr 
interesting facts, taking tbem as they are fonnd arranged in his 
volume, without any attempt at classitioation : — 

On Winster Moor (p. 20), a gold Greek cross — nndonbte ily 
Christiau, with a fibula of the same metal richly oniamented, nnd 
a quantity of glass and nietiil ornaments. 

I'egges Barruw (p. 21). Several Anglo-Saxon ornaments, nifi-t 
jirobably of tlie seventh or eigbtli century. 

In a barrow at Long Roods (p. 28) were found two uni-s with 
calcined bones and a brass coin of Constantine, of the type " Gloria 

In Haddon Field Barrow (p. 30) were found 82 brass c«iin8 : 
among them Constantine 9, Constans 17, Constantins II. 9, family 
of Constantine S, Urbs Koma l> Consttintinnpolis 2, Valentiniuu 5, 
Valens 12, Gratiun 3. The remainder illegibk-. 

At Gib Hill, near Arbor Low (p. 31), of which more hereafter, 
there were found a ilint arrow-head 2^ inclics long, and a fragment 
of a b;;sa!tic celt; also a small iron fibula, and another piece uf 
iron of indeterminable form. 

On Cross Flatts (p. 35) the weapons founti with the skeleton 
were an iron knife, the blade 5 inches long; a piece of roughly 
chipped flint, probably a spear-head ; and a natural piece of stone 
of remarkable form. A similar iron knife and a stone celt were 

' "According to on oaiUj'sis made by 
Sir J.ilin Lubbock, uf ibc con Wills of 
250 tumuli «l»<8cril««l by Sir IlicLiinl 
Colt HiHin*, in tli<? first Tuliinifl cif bis 
* .\neieiit Willithirp,' 18 only ha/l any 
ituplenienta of »tune, only 31 of bone. 

67 of bronzt', nnd 11 of iron, while one- 
Imlf of Ihpm eontiinpil m>lliiii^ to iiuH- 
c-ttle their age; but whftht-r liioao thnl 
contuinetl nothing arc rarlii'r or more 
mrHlcm is by nn mruns clear." — Pre- 
hiKtorie Timet, 2nd edit. p. 131. 




afterwards found within a few yartls of tlie barrow, probably 
thrown out and overlooked when first opened. 

lu Galley Ijowe (p. 37), a very beautiful gold necklace set with 
garnets, and a coin of Honorius ; but towards the outer edge of 
the Lowe, and consequently, as far as position goes, probably later, 
another interment, accompnuied with nide pottery, a small arrow- 
head of grey flint, and a piece of ironstone. 

In the great barrow at Ulinuing Lowe (p. 39) were found coins 
of Claudius Gothicus, Constautine the Great, Constantino Junior, 
and Valentinian. 

In a smaller barrow close by were found fragments of a coarse, 
dark-colouied urn, a Hint arrow-liead, a small piece of iron, part 
of a bridle-bit, and several horses' teeth ; lower down, a cist with 
an iron knife, with an iron sheath ; and on the outer edge another 
interment, accompanied by a higlily cnmmeuted drinking-cnp, a 
small brass or co]iper pin, and a rude spear or arruw-head of dark 
grey flint. 

In Borther Lowe (p. 48) were found a flint arrow-head much 
burnt and a dimiuutive bronze celt. 

In Kolley Lowe (p. 55) were found a brass coin of Constantine, 
and a brass pin 2J inches long ; and lower down a rude but liighly 
omamentctl urn, and with it two very neat arrow-heads of flint 
of uncommon forms; and in another part of the barrow a spear- 
head of coarse flint, with the fragmciits of an uruamented 

In a burrow on Aslifonl Moor (p. 57) were found, scattered in dif- 
ferent parts, a small iron arrow-head and five instruments of flint. 

In Carder Lowe (p. G3) were found several instruments of flint, 
amongst the lattf;r a neatly formed barbed arrow-head ; and lower 
down, with the primary interment, a f^plendid brass or bronze 
dagger; a few inches lower down a beautiful oxe hammer-head 
of basalt. In another part of tlie barrow another interment was 
discovered, accompanied by an iron knife and three hones of sand- 

A barrow was opened at New Inns (p. 6(i), wliere, along with 
the principal interment, was found a beautiful brass dogger, with 
smaller rivet* than usual ; and in another part a skeleton, willl 
two instruments of fiitit, and some animnl tcutb. 




In Net Lowe (p. 68), close to the right arm of the principtU 
interment, a large dagger of brass, with the decorations of its 
handle, consisting of thirty brass rivets ; two studs of Kimmeridgo 
coal. With the above-meutioned articles were numerous frag- 
ments of calcined flint, and amongst the soil of the barrow two 
rude instruments of flint. 

At Ctistern (p. 73), in one part of the mound, an instrument 
was found, with a fine spear-hcad of fliut, and a small arrow-Iiesid 
of the same. In other parts, but in apparently undisturbed earth, 
a circular instilment, and various chippings of fliut, and the 
handle of a knife of stag's horn, riveted in the usual way on to the 
steel. A similar one is figured in Dongliis's ' Neuia Britannica,' 
plate 19, fig. 4, aa found with an interment in one of the barrows 
on Chartham Downs, Kent. 

In Stand Lowe (p. 74), on digging towards the centre, nume- 
rous fliut chippings and six rude instruments were found, iiud 
above the same place a broken whetstone. The centre being 
iined, an iron knife was found of the kind generally atti ibuted 
'to the Suxons. Tliis was immediately followed by a bronze box and 
a number of bucUles, fibula;, and articles of iron, silver, and glass, 
all showing the principal interment to have been of very lato 
date, Mr. Dateman adds — *' the finding of instruments of flint 
with an interment of this comparatively modern description is 
rather remarkable, but by no moans unprecedented," 

In a barrow midway between Wetton and Ham (p. 79) with 
the interment were found three implements of flint of no great 
interest, some fragments of an onuimeuled urn, ami an iron pin, 
similar to the awl used by saddlers at the present day. Mr. 
Bateman adds — " one precisely similar was found in a barrow on 
Middl(jtou Moor in 1824," 

In a second barrow near the same place were found the 
remains of a coarse and rudely ornamented urn with its deposit of 
burnt bones. A third brass coin of Constuntine the Great was 
also found on the summit, just under the surface. 

In Come Luwe (p. 'J;')), with an interment of a very late period, 
were found gold and iron ornaments and glass beads, as well as 
tlie usual chippings of flint and rats' bones. 

lu Dowe Lowe (p. 96) the most remote interment consisted of 




two niucli decuyed ekclLt<.)iiB lyiDg on tlie floor of the barrow 
about tno yards fmin its centre; ouo was accompaiiieil by a 
(luted brass dugp:er placed near the iippiT lume of the arm, and an 
amulet of iron ore witli a large flint implement, which Lad seen 
good service, lying near tlie pelvis. 

The other tumuli examined by this indefutiguble explorer 
either contained objects generally of the aamo class or nothing 
that was of interest as niarkiiig their nge. If his other works, 
or those of others, were Bbstracted in the somo way, tiumeroiis 
examples of the same sort might bo adduced. The above, how- 
ever, are probably siifBcicnt to show how littki reliance can be 
placed on the liard au<l fiiet diattnction between the flint, bronze, 
and iron ages which liave hitherto been (supposed to govern every 
determination of age in this science. If in a hundred short pages 
of one man's worU go many instances of overlapping, and, indeed, 
of ievers)d of the usuid order of things, can be found, it is ensy to 
understand how many might be added if other works were also 
examined. All, lidwever, that in wanted hero is to show that the 
Danish system is neither perfect nor final, and that we must look 
for some other raenns of ascertaining tlio age of these monuments 
if we are ti> como to a satisfactory conclusion regarding them. 

The fact is that, though n tomb contsiining only stone and bone 
implements may be lU,OiJO or 20,000 years old, unless it can also be 
shown that stone and bone were no longer used after the Christian 
era, it may also bo as ino<!eni, or more so, than that epoch. Unless, 
also, it can be proved tliat stone implements were never used 
after iron was introduced, or that bronze was never enijiloyed 
down to a late period, this system is of no avail ; and after the 
examples just quoted from the Batemun diggings, it seems the 
merest empiricism to assume that the use of each class of imple- 
ments ceased on the introduction of another j and till it can bo 
shown at what date their use did really cease, any argument based 
on their presence is of very little vidiie. Tfiis, hrnvever, is a task to 
which no antiquary has yet applied himself; all have Iteen content 
to tix the age of the nionmucnts from the assumed age of their 
contents, empirically determined. It is a fur more difficult tai^k, 
however, to iiMcertaiu the age of the contents from that of the 
monument in which tluy are I'uund ; it is a task that rcipiires an 




investigiition into the history and circumstances of each particuliir 
example. With the scant materials that exist, this is by no 
means ; but as it seems the only mode by which truth 
can be arrived at, it is the task to wliith we propose to devote 
the following pages; should it prove impossible, we may indeed 

It is curious to observe how different would have been the fate 
of this science, had the Scandinavians followed up the line of 
investigation commence<l by their writere in the sixtceuth century. 
Olaus Magnus, for instance. Archbishop of Upsala, writing in looS, 
describes the mogalithic remains of Sweden with the sobriety and 
precision with which a man in tltc present day niigiit give an 
account of the cemeteries of Kensal-green or of Scutari. Some, 
he tells us, marked battle-fickl?, some family sepulchres, othi'i« 
the graves of greatly distinguished uicu,' In like manner, OJiui-s 
Wormius, in 1*J43, describes tlie toinbsofthe kings of Denmark a.i 
writer in the present day might the PInntagenet sepulchres in 
Vcstminster Abbey.' Neither have any doubt or hesitation about 
the matter, and though r>r. Charlctou was husty iu following tljis 
author too implicitly in applying his data to this country, stiil, so 
far as I can form an opinion, if that lino of researeh had be(»n 
steatiily followetl out, there would now have been as little doubt 
about tiie ago of Stonehenge, as there is about that ol' Salisbury 
C-athedral. Stidieley, however, cut the vessel adrift from the 
moorings of common sense, and she has since been a derelict tos^icd 
about by the winds and waves of evi-ry passing fancy, till recently, 
when an attemjjt has been made to tow tlie wreck into tlio misty 
haven of prehistoric antiquity. If ever she reaches that nebulous 

' "Vi'tcrum Gotlioroin et Suerornin 
BtiquiBsimua u)M est at u).>l ncrlnrcs 
rawp'm ecu ni<intil)U8 iii8tiliiia&cnt ct 
I»-rfuC)i!J<!iit pugiioii, illic cicotos ln]ii(lcs 
ijunxi Egyptiocas iiyrniiiiJes fnlloL-.-tie 
u>]iti mint . . . l]nlx>iit itni]uo lis!(3 
eaxA In pluribus looid orecU loiigitixliiie 
X. Tcl XV. xx. out XXX. it ampliiw ct 
IrftiliiiliiiK iv. v<'I vi, |»'dum, iiiinibili s'tii 
mmI iitimliiliuri online ct iiiiml>ili8&iiiio 
rlitinwIi'Kv tilt phiriruai! mLiiiiie«i culhx^t t 
litcrnt'), rrcloiyu: ct longo online viilclicct 
liu^liiTiiin ciri'lnmiiia, qiuulrato, lurmas 

bellnntinm, ct splicrivo fatniliaruin (Ii-8i{r- 
imntia si'iiiiltui-iiii nc cuiicnto eiuestrium 
ft poilcBlrium arii a ibidem vel jmifw fm- 
lunatum triiirniili.'isKC," &o. &<i, — ]h 
GeiililjHf Sejtteiitri'inQlibuo, &c. p, 4rt, ■ 

Or ngBin : — "Quna hnmi recoiidi-rr 
plncuit lionurnljilcs i-tatuiM IiijiIiImiii 
oxcclsonjin pnmt luidle (^rnuntur mini 
roinjiiigini' in miMlnm nUi.>sima) ot lulM- 
Biina> jiiniiro, enrsiim trftinrv-ereumiiu'' 
vir.buK gijfaiitujn crcoio." — Jhid. i'-K 

' ' Dnnirorum Mouuiiieutornm,' libii 
sex, 22 r4 rrq-j. 




region, she may as well he broken up in despair, as she can be 
of jio further use for human purposes. 

"WlietLer this will or will not he her fate must depend on the 
result of the new impulse which has within the last ten or twelve 
years been given to the enquiry. Hitherto it seems certainly to 
bo in a direction which, it ia to be feared, is not likely to lead 
to any greater degree of precision in the enquiry. While the 
Danish "savana" were arrauging their collections iu the museums 
at Copenhagen, M. Boucher de Perthes was quietly forming 
a collection of flint implements from the drift gravels of the 
valley of the Somnie, which far exccedtd all hitherto found 
iu antiquity. For many years hia discoveries were ridiculed uud 
laughed at, till iu 185S the late Hugh Falconer visited his 
museum at Abbeville, and being then fresh from his investi- 
gations at Kent's Hole and the Gower Caves,^ he at once saw 
their value and proclaimed it to the world. Since then it has not 
been disputed that the flint implements found in the valley of the 
Somme are the works uf man, and that from the position in vvliir-h 
they are found tlieir ftibricntors must have lived at a period on the 
edge of the glacial epoch, and when the configuration of the con- 
tinent dilTered from wliat it now is, and when probably the British 
isles were still joined to France. Similar implements have befoie 
and since been found in Suffolk,' and other parts of England 
in analogous cireumstances, and all allied with a fauna which 
was extinct in these parts before historic times.' If you ask a 
geologist how long ago tlie circumstances of the globe were such 
OS these conditions represent, he will answer at once not less 
thun a million of years! But they deal in large figures, and 
it is not necessary to investigate them now. It was a very long 
time ago. 

Even more interesting than these for our present purposes was 

' ' Ml nM^irs of Tlngli Fidconer,' by Dr. 
Murchison, ii. p. o9(>. 

' hi 17!>7, Jlr. Jolin Frtrc found flint 
iiuplemeutB Menlieiil wiili \h<m\ nt Alilx>- 
villp, AiLcl publiitheil an iiec'ount uf Uiem, 
**illi mgmvinfcs, in vol. xiii. of tlio 
• AnrluDoivg »,' in l^W' 

• In tlie first ypore of the laBl century 
n flint iin|ileinenl. ti>gctiior with t<onitf 
finni-H of Uio Ele/ihat primiffeuu*, vrt-rf 
found in an cxi-nvatioii in Gray's Idu 
Ijxna. Ad engrnviiig of it wns publishnti 
in 1715, ami the iniplonicnt itiielf 18 now 
in the Briliali Museum. 




the discovery a few years later of bumaii remains in the valleys 
of the Dordogne and other rivers of the south of France. Here 
geology does not help us, but climatology does. At that time the 
climate of the south of France was so cold that the inhabitants of 
these caves had all the habits of people now dwelling in the Arctic 
regions. Their principal domestic auimul was the reindeer, but they 
were familiar with the woolly-liaired mammoth, the cave bear, and 
the aurochs. The climate was so cold that they could throw on 
one side the debris of their feasts, and floor their dwelling with 
marrow bones and offal without dreading pestilence or even sufter- 
ing inconvenience. They were, in fact, in every respect, so far as 
we have the means of judging, identicnl with the Esquimaux of the 
present day, and must have inhabited a climate nearly similar to 
that of Arctic North America. How long ago was this ? We know 
from the pictures in the tombs near the pyramids that the climate 
of Eg)'pt was the same 50(J0 or 6(JU0 years ago as it is now, and 
we have no reason to suppose that, while that of the southern 
shores of the Mediterranean remained unchanged, the northern 
would vary in any very different ratio. Clearing of forests may 
have done something, but never could have accounted for suth a 
chiinge as this. If we take 50,000 or 60,000 years instead of 5000 
or 6000, it will not suflice for such a revolution, though geologists 
will be wroth if we assume only lOO.OOU; as a convenient number 
(his will answer our present purjjoses. 

Having at least this space of time at their disposal, the tendency 
of modern antiquaries has been to sweep everytliiug into this 
great gulf. Why, they ask, may not Stonehenge and Avebury be 
10,000, 20.000, or 50,000 years old ? Man then existed, and why 
may he not have erected such monuments as these ? Of course 
he might, but there is no proof that he did, and as no single tangible 
reason has yet been adduced for supposing them so old, the mere 
presumption that they might be so cannot count for much. 

To my mind the force of argument seems to tend the other way. 
If a race of men lived on the face of the globe for 100,000 years 
so utterly uuprogrossive as these cave men, incapable of dt.scover- 
iug the use of metals for themselves during that long period, or 
even of adopting them from Egypt and the East, where bronze 
certainly, and most probably iron, were known at least GOOO or 





7000 years ago; if this people usetl flint and bone during all this 
period, is it likely thftt they would adopt new-fangled inci[»lemont3 
and new eustoais the firat tiuio they were presented to them ? The 
Esquimaux liave liccn familiar with the Danish settlcrtt in Greenland 
for some eontnries, nnd could easily have proeuwd improved irn- 
plomeiits and many of the advantages of civilization had tliey been 
BO inelined. Tlicy have not iieen changed a hairVbreadth by the 
iufluenco of the stranger. The red man of North America has been 
in contact with the white man for centuries now. Has he changed, 
or can he change ? In Alaska, and to the northward of Van- 
couver's Island, there is a nice of savages, called Hydahs, with all 
the artistic tastes and facilities of the men of the Dordogne caves, 
and with about the same degree of civilization.' All these are 
dying ovit, and may soon disappear, but they present at this day 
exactly the same phenomenon as we see in the south of France, 
say 10,000 years ago. They have been exterminated in all the 
civilized parts of Europ<^ by the progressive Aryan races who have 
usurped their places; and it seems only too certain that, like them, 
their American kindred must perish before the growing influence 
of the white man, but they cannot change. In so far as we can 
judge from such facts as are before us, if any family of this old 
peo])le still lurked among our hills or on any rocky island, their 
habits, or customs, and their implcment«!i, woxdd be as lilce those 
of the cave men as those of the Ejiquinianx or Alaska savages are 
at the present day. It appears most uupliilosophical to apply to 
those peiiple the principles of progress that aro found among the 
higher races of mankiud, and to represent them as eagerly seizing 
on any improvement ofiTered them, and abandoning their old faith 
and their old habits at the bidding of any wandering navigator 
that visited their shores. 

This is not tho place to enter on such an enquiry, but so far 
as can at present be seen, it seems that nnxnkiiid has progressed 
not so much by advance within the limits of certain races aa 
by the superposition of more highly organized races over those 
of an inferior class. Thus we have those stono men of the caves 
who possessed the world fur 1()(),UOO or a million of years, and 

' For the Inat, and one uf the best, aceoimls of Ibe Hydohs, wo * ProoeodingB of the 
Boyal Geognpliioal Society,* vol. siii. No. V. p. 3S6 el nn^q., hy Mr. Brown. 




made no more progreas in that period than the animals they wero 
associated with. Even the progress from a chipped to a polished 
stone implement seems to have been tanght them by a foreign 
bronze-using people. We have tlien such races as the Egyptian, 
the Chinese, or the Mexican, who can progress to a certain point, 
but stop and cannot go beyond ; and, lastly, we have the Aryans, 
the last to appear in the tield, but the most energetic, and the only 
truly progressive race. Our great error in reasoning with regartl 
to the older races seems to be tiiat we insist un apfilying to thom 
the reasoning and principles which guide us, but which are wholly 
inapplicable to the less progressive races of mankind. 

All this will be plainer in the sequel ; but in the nieanwhik* 
it may safely be asserted that, up to this time, no royal roa<l ha« 
been discovered that leads to an explanation of our megalithic 
antiquities. No one has yet been nblo so to classify the contents 
of cognate monuments as to construct a chrouometric scale which 
is applicable for the elucidation of their dates ; and no a jtriori 
reasoning has been hit upon that is of the smallest use in ex* 
plaining either their age or their peculiarities. The one path thnt 
seems open to us is a careful examination of ench individual monu- 
ment, accompanied by a judicial sifting of all or any traditions that 
may attach to it, and aided by a comparison with similar monu- 
ments in other countries. By this moans we have a chance of 
arriving at a fair jtroximate degree of ceitaiuty , for, though no 
one monument will tell ita own talo directly, a multitude of 
whispers from a great number may swell into a voice that is clear 
and distinct and be audible to every one; while no system yet 
invented, and no a priori reasoning, can lead to anything Imt 
deepening the ignorance that now prevails on the subject. Tliis 
is especially true with regard to the groat megaUthic circles in 
this country. With the rarest possible exco|itions, iio Hint and no 
bronze or iron implements have been found within their precincts. 
They cannot be older than the invention of flint implements, and 
iron has been in continuous use since the art of smelting its 
ores was first discovered. If, therefore, they have no written or 
traditional history which can be relied upon, their age must for 
ever remain a mystery. The conviction, however, under which this 
book is written is that such a history dws exist ; that, when oil 

t: -^ 




the tratlitious attached to tho monuments are siftetl and weighed, 
they amount to snch a mass of circumstantial evidence as suffices 
to prove the case and to establish the main facts of their 
history and use, wholly independently of any systom or of any 
external testimony. 

Direct literary evidence, in the sense in Avhich the term is 
usually understood, cannot be said to exist. As before mentioned, 
no classical author alludes, either directly or indirectly, to these 
megalithic structures; yet they could not have lunm ignorant of 
them if they existed. "When Csesar and his army witnessed the 
fipht between his gnllcys and the fleet of the Ycneti in the Mor- 
bihan, he must have stood — if he occupied tho best place — on 
Mont St. Michel, if it then existed, and among tlie stone avenues 
of Carnac. Is it likely that such an artist would have omitted 
tho chance of heightening liis picture by an allusion to the 
" standing stones " of ])ariorigutu ? The Eonians occupied Old 
Sarum jjrobably during tho whole time they remained in this 
island, and the Via Badouica passed so immeiliately under Silbury 
Hill that they could not have been ignorant of either Stonehenge 
or Avebuiy. Nor in Franco could they possibly have missed 
seeing the numerous dolmens with which the country is covered. 
Notwithstanding all this, the silence is absolute. The circular 
temple of the Hyperboreans is the only thing any one has ever 
pretended to qunte against this; and that, for reasons given above 
being inadmissible, any argument based on it falls to the ground. 

Neither Cajsar nor I'acitus, though describing the religious 
observances of our forefatliers, make any mention of temples; nor, 
indeed, does any other classical author. Tacitus ^ tells us that the 
Germans worshipped only in groves; and though this is hardly to 
tho point, his relations with Agricola were so intiiiiato that had 
the Gauls and Britons had tenipk.'a of stone, he could hardly have 
avoided alluding to them. The inference from Cffisar and all the 
other authors is the same, but there is no direct evidence either way. 

There is no passage in any classical authors which commcts the 
Druids, either directly or indirectly, with any stone temples or 
stones of any sort. 

< ' Oermania,' 9. 




DracoDtia are wholly the creation of Dr. Stiikeley'a very fertile 

So far, therefore, as negative evidence goes, it is complete in 
showing that our megalithic circles did not exist in the time of 
the Romans, and that they were not temples. Unfortunately, 
however, no amount of negative evidence is sufficient to prove 
an affirmative, though it may suffice to establish a strong pre- 
sumption in favour of a particular view, and, at all events, clears 
the way for the production of any direct evidence which we may 
have. The direct written evidence that has been adduced is, 
however, of the most shadowy character. It amounts tu little 
more than this: — that every allusion to these monuments in 
mediaeval autliors, every local tradition, every scrap of intelligence 
we have regarding them, points to a post-lloman origin. No 
writer, of any age or comitry, suggested their being pre-historic or 
even jjre-Iloman before the age of Stukeley, — say ITOtL 

There is, so far as I know, only one paragraph in any classical 
author which mentions a French or British temple ; but it be- 
longed to so exceptional a community that it would hardly be safe 
to base an argument upon it. A " hieroii," Strabo tells us, existed 
at the mouth of the Loire, inhabited by a colony of women who 
lived apart from their husbands, but the roof or thatch of the 
roof of whose temple was renewed annually :' a fact that shows, 
in the first place, that it had a roof, and in the second, that it wus 
not a very dignified or permanent structure. 

It would add very much to tlie clearness of our conception on 
this subject if the early Christian writers had left us some descrip- 
tious of the temples of the Britons when the missionaries lirst 
came among them. Though not quite so silent on the subject as 
the classical authors, their direct evidence is far from being so 
complete as miglit be wished. One of the passages most distinctly 
bearing on this question is found in a letter which Pope Gregory 
the Great addressed to the Abbot Millitus, then on a mission to 
England. In this letter ho instructs him by no means to destroy 
the temples of the idols behmging to the English, but only the idols 
which are found in them ; and adds, "Let holy water be made, and 

' Stmbo. iv. p. VM. 




spriukled over tliem. Let altars be constructed, and relics placed 
on them ; insomuch as if those temples are well constructed, it is 
ueeessary that tliey should be converted from the worehip of daemons 
to the service of tlie true God. So that the people, seeing their 
temples are not destroyed, may put away errors from their hearts, 
and, acknowledging the true God and adoring Him, may the more 
willingly assemble in the jtlaces where they were accustomed to 
meet." ' A little further on he adds, iu order that no apparent 
change may be made, "that on great festivals the people may 
erect huts of houghs around those churches which have been con- 
verted (commututiu) from temples." 

The fair infereuee from this paragraph seems to be that there 
was so little diiTerence between the temples of the Pagans and 
the churches of the Christians that a little holy water and a few 
relies — as much esteemed in the West as in the East in those 
days— were all that was required to convert the one into tlie other. 

We gather the same impression from another transaction which 
took place at Canterbury about the same time. After taking pos- 
session of the Cathedral, built of old by the Eomnns,- St. Augustine 
obtained from the recently converted King Etlielbert the cession 
of the temple in which he had been accustomed to worship his 
idols, anil without more ado dedicated it to 8t. Pancras, and 
uppropriuted it as a burying place for himself and his successors 
from the circumstance of its being outside the walls.^ We further 
learn from Gervaise* that it was so used till Cuthbert, the second 
archbishop, got permission to allow burials within the walls, and 
then erected the baptistry of St. John for this purpose, where 

' Bede, ' Hist. EoolcB.' i. 30. 

' " Iiiibi antrqno Rutuanonim fidelinm 
opore faotam," Dt-de, 'llUi. EpoIm.' i.32. 

• Thora. 'Dw. Script. Col.' 17C0:— 
"Etttt autom non luugo nb ipsa civitatc 
od oriontem quasi medio iiiiic-ro iiittir 
€OcU:iiiam Sti. M&rtiui ot muros civitatia 
Dianum sivo yd<ilum situm ubi rex 
Ethclberttu secnndns rituu geotia siue 
(iolebat orare ot cum nobilibiu BUiii dic- 
inoniia ot non dw) Mcriflcnrc-. QiioJ 
Fhauiun Augiutinus ab inii^uiuiUDPUtia 
ct wnlibos gniitilium purgavit ut biiiiu- 
Licro qucKl in co erat infracto, tiyimgqgiua 

mutavit in ccolenium, ot earn in nomine 
Sti. ['anvralii miirtyria dcdiiovit." 

Of tliis " Fuiit! " we further Itam from 
God*.linu» i' Li-land Collfct." vol. it. 
p. 8), iLot "oxtut tuJhuc eoudita ex lon- 
giusimifl ct latifsiiuiu latcribus more 
Britannico ut fivoile est videru in muris 
VerolamicntibuB," onil umy now be seen 
in tbii) very church at Ciintcrbury. 
silica Sti. Pnncratii nunc c«t ubi olim 
Fitbrlbertu8 idoluin tiuum coluit. Opus 
cxiguiun otruotuiii tamen du moro ?«t«- 
ruui Britaunoruni." 

• Gervaiao, ' Aec. Pont. Cant.' p. 1640. 




apparently Becket's crown now stands. Afterwards the muuas- 
tery of SS. Peter and Paul, now St. Aufjustine's, was erected 
" in fuiido Templi " — whatever that may mean — but at that time 
St. Augustine seems to Lave acee{>ted the Pagan tein]>le8 as 
perfectly appropriate to Cliiistian rites. 

In like manner when King Redwald, after his conversion to 
Christianity was pereuadud by his wife not rashly to fursake the 
faith of hid forefathers, he set up two altars side by side in his 
temple (in fano), and detlicated the oD«rto Christ, the other to the 
"victims of the daemons."^ The temple, apparently, was equally 
appropriate to either. 

A still more instructive example is the description of the 
destruction of the church at Godmumlingham by Coifi — the 
heathen priest — on his conversion to Christianity. He first 
desecrated it by throwing a epoar itito it — whetlier by the door 
or window we are not told — and then ordered his pt-oide to burn 
it to the ground with all its enclosures. These, therefore, must all 
have been in wood or some equally combustible material.* 

^Vll this is not much nor vei'y distinct, but by these passages, and 
every hint we have on the subject, it would appear that the 
temples of the Pagans, between the departure of the Itomaus and 
the time of Alfred, were at least very similar to those of the 
Christians. Both were derived from the same model, whieii was 
the temple or basilica of the liouions, and both were apparently 
very rude, and generediy, we may infer, constructed of wood. Tlie 
word circular docs not occur in auy desuriptiuu of any I'a-^an 
temple yet brought to light, nor tliC word stone ; nothijig, in fact, 
that would in the remotest degree lead ua to 8Uj)poae that Bede, 
or auy one else, was speaking or tbinking of the megalithic mouu- 
ments with which we are now concerned. 

Altliough the classical authorities are silent regarding these 
rude stone monuments, and contemporary records help us very 
little in trying to understand the form of the temples in which our 
forefathers worshipped, till they were converted to Christianity, 
still the Decrees of the Councils render it quite certain that Itude 

' Bede, ' Hut. Ecclea.' ii l.'i. 
' "SucctiutuiL- liUiUui cum omnibus acptu snio," Bcilc, ' lliol. ticoits. li. W. 




Stone Monuments were objects of veneration-^<;ertainly in France, 
an I, by implication, in England — down to the timesof Charlemagne 
and All'vtd, at least. 

Olio oiten-quoted decree of a Council, held at Nantes, exhorts 
" Bishops and their servants to dig up, and remove, and hide in 
places whore they cannot be found, those stones which in remote 
iuid woody plaeea are stiil worBhippeil, and where vows are still 
made." ' Unfortunately the date of this Council is not certain ; but 
Richard places it in 658, which is probably at least nearly correct' 
Tliiy, however, is of comparatively little cotiseqiience, as in 452 
a Council at Aries decreed that "if, in any diocese, any infidel 
either lighted torches or worshipped Trees, Fountaius, or Stones, 
or neglected to destroy them, he should be found guilty of sacri- 
lege;"^ and about a century later (5G7), a Council at Tours 
exhorts the clergy to excommuuicjite those who, at certain Stones 
or Trees or Fountains, perpetrate things contrary to the ordinances 
of the Cinirch.* 

Still another centuiy further on (f>81), a Council held at Toledo 
aduiouishcs those who worship Idols or venerate Stones, those wjio 
light torches or worship Fountains or Trees, that they are sacrificing 
to the devil, and subject themselves to various penalties, &<\.* 
Another Council held iuthe same city, iu the year t!!>2, enumerates 
almost in the same words the various heresies which were con- 
demned by the preceding Council.* A Council at Eouen, about 
the same time, denounces all who offer vows to Trees or Fountainsi 

' Sumiiici ileccrliiTc debent Btadio epis- 
ro])i L't ouruju luinibiri ut — Lopide* 
quixjiip, ijiiuB ill nuiioiiis locis et BJlvestri- 
biw, doimmiim luiliticntionibiu deccpti 
Vfrivniattir ubi ct \i>tu vovi'iit ct dc<- 
fiTiint, fiiiulittis cflVMliiititur, nUjuc in t4ili 
loco projiiMniitiir ubi iiunqiiniii a rul- 
tr>ribua Hiiifl iiiveriiri |>r)Hjiiil ut atnniliiia 
uuiiiinciAttir (|uni)tiini nevluH eat ido- 
lulrin. — Labhcnm, t. ix. 474. 

' Uiohnrd, ' Anuly se dee Conciica,' i. &i6. 

' i>\ ill alicujiiij episcopi UTritorio 
itifidelM, HUt Iticulfls Aivondanl;, nut ur- 
borcs, fontcj) vcl Soj-a vcnerptitur hi hoc 
ermro neglescrit, s«prilus1i rcuiu se e^snt 
coKnosrnt.— I,(ibb., iv. li)l;i. 

' Conlealuiiiur illnui HiltcitudiBein loui 

poatorcs qiiam prosbyteroe, ge]vr(> ut 
quL-innuiiijue in liao futuitate ]jcnii8t«ra 
vid'-riiit, vi'i ud DciKsio quaa petroA Mat 
arboroH vcl fontea, d««igDatn loea gei^l 
tiliuni jicrpttnu-e, qiue l»d eocledw m«i 
tiotiem noil pfrtlncnt ens sb eocliwia 
mincta aucturitato repolliint. — BaIuz, i. 

* CtdtorM idoloruiii. Teneratores £«- 
pidum, acceniionig facularuni eioolontM 
Baora fontium vol arboruin odmonuiuuii, 
&o.— Bftluz, vi. 12,'Jl. 

• Illi diversis 8UHdt.'1i« de<"<>pti cul- 
lorca idnlorum effloiuiilur, reaonil 
LapiJiim, aocensored farulorum, exoo* * 
lentc'fl sucro runtium vcl arboruui, &o. — 
Baluz, Ti. 1337. 




or Stones as they would at altars, or offer candles or gifts, as if 
any divinity resided there capable of conferring good or evil.' 

Lastly, a decree of Charlemagne, dated Aix-la-Chapelle in 7S!», 
titterly condemns and execrates before God Trees, Stones, and 
Fountains, which foolish people worship.' 

Even as late as in the time of Canute the Great, there is a 
statute forbidding the barbarons adoration of the Sun and Moon, 
Fire, Fountains, Stones, and all kinds of Tret-s and Wood.^ 

The above which are taken from Keysler* are not all he quotes, 
nor certainly all that could be added, if it were worth while, from 
other sources ; but they are suffiiueut to show that, from 'i'ok-do 
to Aix-la-Chapelle — and from the di-parture of the Komnns till the 
tenth, or probably the eleventh century — tlie Christian priesthood 
waged a continuous but apparently ineffectual warfare against 
the worship of Stones, Trees, and Fountains. The priests do not 
condescend to tell us wliat the forms of the Stones were which 
these benighted people worshipped, whether simple menhirs or 
dolmens, or " grottes des foes," nor why they worshipped them ; 
whether they considered them emblems of some unnamed and 
unknown God, or memorials of deceased ancestors, in whose honour 
they lighted candles, and whom they propitiated with offerings. 
Nor do they tell us what the form of that worship was ; they 
did not care, and perhaps did not know. Nor do we ; for, except 
an extreme veneration for their dead, and a consequent ancestral 
worship,' mixed with a strange adoration of Stones, Trees, and 
Fountains, we do not know now what the religion was of these rude 
people. The testiojouy of these edicts is, therefore, not quite so 

' 6i uliquia vota od arbores, vid IVmtfs, 
rul bU Lafiida qnosdam, quasi od albirio, 
faciut ftut n>i c'OiuK-laiii, aoa quulibct 
muniM d(^fcn-t velut ibi quodJain Kumcn 
■it qiKxt bouuni nut inalniu pogait in- 
ferre.— Baluz, I. 2, p. 210. 

* Item lie orboribud vel /V<ri» vel 
t'unlibuii nbi aliqui atnlti lumuiaria vel 
ftliqniis obsirvutioncs fnciunt timniun 
BilaiuUR, lit i«te pctis'uuus iiaus t-t dco 
embilts ubicuDqub inri.'uitur tuHotur 
I distrnutur. — Balux, t. i. p. 2B5. 

Borbora eat autem ndnrutio, sive 
Ldolii (pubt gontiiuu ilivoti), ^lem. 

Lutiani, Igucm, rmfluentc-m, FnnteH, 
iiata, ciijuuquo gi-ncris arborce lignum 
coluornnt.— KcysltT, ' Antiqnitutba Sep- 
tenilium.' (JIunoTcne, 1720), p. 18. He 
qiiotct ulao a canon of Edgar (9G7) to the 
u&uie efTect. 

* ' Ant. .Sept.' cliap, ii. 

• Laing ill his wroth seems to hove, by 
accident, very nearly gup«se<l Ui'; truth, 
when, refuting tlit- niithonticity of Ossian, 
he nocuscM Maophcr»on of " having rou- 
dt>red tlio Uighlnndcra a race of iinhcard- 
of iiiadulo, who bt'lievod in no Gods bat 
the ghoHts of Ihcir fathcm." 




distiact as we might wish, and does not enable us to assert that 

tlie Rude Stone Monuments, wlio&e age and uses we are trying 
to asoortain, were those alluded to in the preceding paragraphs. 
But what it does seem to prove is, that down to the 11th century 
the Christian Priesthood waged a continuous warfare against the 
veneration of some class of llude Stone Monuments, to whioh 
the pagan population clung with remarkable tenacity, and many, 
if not most of which may consequeutly have been erected during 
that period. This ia, at all events, infinitely more clear and 
positive than anything that haa been brought forward in favoiir of 
their pre-historic antiquity. If, like the other branches of the 
written argument, this ia not sufficient to prove, by itself, that 
the monuments were generally or even frequently erected after 
the Christian era, it certainly entitk-s that assertion to a fair locus 
standi in the argument we are attempting to develop. 

If, however, the pen has been reticent and hesitating in its 
testimony, the spade has been not only prulific but distiuet. It 
ia probably not an exaggeration to say that three-fourths of the 
mogalithic moimments — including tlie dolmens, of course — have 
yielded sepulchral deposits to the explorer, and, incluJing the 
tumuli, probably nine-tenths have been proved to be burial places. 
Still, at the present st^ge of the enquiry, it wouM be at least 
premature to assume that the remaining tenth of the whulo, or the 
remaining fourth of the stone section, must necessarily be sepul- 
chral. Some may have been cenotaj»hie, or simply monumfuts, 
such as we erect tu our great men — not necessarily where the budics 
are laid. Some stones and some tumuli may have been erected to 
t'ommemorato events, and some mounds certainly were erected us 
" Jlotes" or "Things" — places of judgment or assembly. In like 
manner some circles may have been originally, or may afterwards 
have been used as places of assembly, or may have been what 
may more properly be called temples of the deal, than tombs. 
These, however, certainly are the exceptions. The ruling idea 
throughout is still of a sepulchre, with wliat exceptions, and 
at "what ago erected, is the thesis which wo now propose to 

At present these are mere assertions, and it is not pretended 




that tbey are more, and they are only brought forwnrd in this 
place in order to enunciate the propositions it is hoped we may be 
able to prove as we advance in this enquiry. These are, — 

First, that the Rude Stone 3Ioiiuinent8 with whith we are 
concerned are generally sepulchral, or connected directly, or indi- 
rectly, with the ritea of the dead. 

Secondly, that they are not temples in any nsaal or appropriate 
sense of the term, and, 

Lastly, — thdt they were generally erected by partially civilized 
after they had come in contact with the Bomans, and 
^ost of tliem may be considered as belonging to the first ten 
centuries of the Chriiitian Era. 

In stating these three propositions so broadly, it must be borne 
hi mind, that the evidence on which their proof or disproof rests 
is eminently curaidative in its character ; not perhaps with regard 
to tlie use to which the monuments were applied, that probably 
will be admitted as settled, as so large a proportion of the turaiiU 
can be shown to have a fair title to a eepulchral character, and 
m«wt of the stone monuments can equally lay claim to being 
erected for the same pur])Oso to which one-hnlf of them have been 
certainly proved to have been dedicated. This ia the more clear, 
as, on the other hand, in spite of every surmise or conjecture, no 
one monument of the class we are treating of can be proved to 
Lave been erected as a temple, or as intended for any civic or civil 

With regard to their age, the case is not quite so easily settled. 
Except such monuments as those of Gorin and Thyra, and one or 
two others, to be mentioned hereafter, few can produce such proof 
of their t^e aa would stand investigation in a court of law. But 
when all the traditions, all the analogies, and all the probabilities 
of tho case are examined, they seem to make up such an accumu- 
lation of evidence as is irresistible ; and the whole appears to pre- 
sent an unbroken and intelligible sequence which explains every- 
thing. The proof of all this, however, does not rest on tho 
evidence of two or tliree, or even of a dozen, of instances, but is 
baaed upon the multiplication of a great number of coincidences 
derived from a large number of instances, which taken together 
in tlie cumulative form, make up a stronger body of proof than 




could be obtained from the direct testimony of one or two cases. 
To appreciate tbis, however, the whole must bo Uiken together. 
To try to invalidate it by solectin<i cue or two prouiinent cas<?8, 
where the proof is niaiiifestly insufficient when takeu by itsdf, is (o 
misunderstaud and misrepresent the whole force of the argument. 

One point, I fancy, there will be very little difficulty in proving, 
which is, that the whole form one continuous group, extending in 
an unbroken series, from the earliest to the latest. There is no 
hiatus or break anywhere ; and 11" some can be proved to belong 
to the 10th century, it is only a question how far you can, by 
extenuating the thread, exttnd it backwards. It can hardly be 
much Leyoud the Chi-istian era. It seems that sui'h a date satis- 
fies all the known conditions of the problem, in so far as the Stone 
Monuments at least are concerned. There is, so far as I know 
at present, absolutely no evidence on the other side, except what 
is derived from the Danish system of the three ages : if that 
is established aa a rule of law, eadit qtuisiio, there is no more 
to be said on the subject. But this is exactly what does not 
apjjear to have yet been established on any suflieiont or satis- 
factory basis. There need be no difficulty in granting that men 
used stone and bone for implements, before they were acqiminted 
with the use of the metals. It niny also be admitted, that they 
used bronze before they learned tlie art of extractiug iron from 
its ores. But what is denied is, that they abandoned the use 
of these primitive implements on the introduction of the metals; 
and it is contended that thoy employed stone and iKine simul- 
taneously with bronze and iron, down to a very hite period. The 
real fact of the case seems to be, that tlie people on the shores of 
the Baltic and the North Sea, were as remote from the centres of 
civilization on the Meilitorianean and to the eastward of it in the 
earlier centuries of our era, and were as little iidhienoetl by them, 
as the inhabitants of the islands in the Pacific and Arctic America 
were by Europe in the lust century. In the remote corners of tho 
world, a stone and bone ago exists at tlie present day, only 
modified by tho use of such metal implements as they can obtain 
by barter or exchange : and this appeare to have been tho state of 
northern Europe, till, with their conversion to Christianity, the 
new civilization was dunjesticated among its inhabitants. 

CuAr. ir. 





Before attempting to examine or rle^cribe particular instiinces — 
in wliich, however, the main interest of the work must eventually 
be centred — it would add very much to the clearness of what 
follows if a clas,siljcation could be hit ujiou, wliieli would correctly 
reproflent the sequence of foriu.x. In the present state of our 
knowledge such au aiTanj!;emeut is hardly possible, still the 
following 5 groups, with their subdivisions, are sufficiently distinct 
to enable them to be treated separately, and ore so arranged as 
roughly to represent what wo know of their sequence, ^^ith 
immense overlappings, however, on every joint. 

1. — TiTMOLi .. .. a. Or barrows of earth only. 

h. With smftll BtoMB chambcTS or cists. 

c. With laegalitluc clianibcrs or dolmens. 

d. With external access to chambers. 

II. — Dolmens.. .. «. Free slanding dolmciis without timinli. 
h. Dolmens upon the outside of tumuli. 

III.— CiBci,Es .. .. o. Circles surrounding to muli. 

b. Circle.i sunounding dolmens. 

c. Circlea without tumuli or dolmeus. 

IV. — AvKjcDEs ., ., rt. Arenuea attnched to circles. 

h. Avenues with or without circles or dolmeus. 

V. — MESHins .. .. a. Single or in groups. 

b. With oghams, oculplures, or runes. 


The first three of the sub-divisions of the first class aro bo mixed 
together that it is almost inipoasible in the present slate of our 
knowledge to separate them witli precision eitlier as to date or 
locality, while, as they hardly belong to the main subject of this 
book, it will not be worth while to attempt it hero. 

Withont 1>eing too speculative, perliaps, it may be a.s8iinaod that 



CiiAr. II. 

tlio earliest mode in whic'li mankind disposed of the bodies of 
their deceased relatives or neigbboDi's was by simjile infiumation. 
They dng & hole in the earth, and, hfiving laid the body therein, 
simply replaced the earth upon it, and to msirk the ppot, if the 
perjon so buried was of siiffieient iinportanee to merit such care, 
they raised a mound over the grave. It is diflleult, however, to 
believe that mankind were long content with bo simple a mode of 
tepnltiire. To heap earth or stones on the body of the beloved 
departed so as to crush and deface it, nin.*t have seemed rude unci 
harsh, and some sort of coflSn was probably early devised for tlie 
protection of the corpse, — in well-wooded countries, this would be 
of wood, which, if tlie mwind is old, baa perished long ago — in 
stony countries, as probably uf stuue, forming the rude cists so 
commonly found in early graves. That these should expand 
into chambers seems also natural as civilization advanced, and as 
man's ideas of a future state and the wants and necessities of such 
a future became more develojwd. 

The last stage would seem to be when access was retained to 
the sepulchral chamber, in order that the descendants of the 
deceased might bring offerings, or supply the wants of their 
relative during the intermediate state which some nations 
nssiiracd must elapse before the translation of the body to another 

It is probable that somo such stages as these were passed through 
by all the burying races of mankind, though at very various 
intervals and with very different details, while fortunately for our 
present subject it seems that the earliest races were those most 
addicted to this mode of honotiring their dead. All mankind, it is 
true, bury their dead either in the flesh or their ashes after cre- 
mation. It is one of those peculiarities which, like speech, dis- 
tiuguifih mankind from the lower animals, and which are so strangely 
overlooked by the advocates of the lashionablo theory of our ape 
descent. All mankind, however, do not reverence their dead to the 
same extent. The peculiarity is most characteristic of the earlier 
underlying races, whom we have generally been in the habit of 
designating as the Turanian races of mankind. But if that term 
is objected to, the tomb-bailding races may be specified — beginning 
from the East — as the Chinese ; the Monguls in Tartary, or Mogols, 

Chap. 11. 



they were called, iu India; the Tartars in their own country, or 
in Persia ; the ancient Pelasgi in Greece; the Etrurians in Italy ; 
and the races, whoever they were, who preceded the Celts in 
Enrope. But tJio tomb-building people, par excellence, in the old 
world were the Egyptians. Not only were the funereal rites the 
most important element in the religious life of the people, but they 
bep;an at an age earlier than the history or tradition of any other 
nation carries us back to. The great Pyramid of Gizeh was 
erected certainly as early as 30U0 yeai-s before Christ; yet it must 
be the lineal descendant of a rude-chambered tumulus or cairn, with 
external access to the chambers, and it seems difficult to calculate 
how many thousands of years it must have required before such 
rude sepulchres as those our ancestors erected — many probubly 
after the Christian era — could have been elaborated into the most 
perfect and most p^oantic specimens of masonry which the world hag 
yet seen. The phenomenon of anything so perfect as the Pyramids 
starting up at once, absolutely without any previous examples 
being known, is so unique* in the worl<r3 history, that it is 
impossible to form any conjecture how long before tiiis period the 
Egyptians tried to protect their bodies from decay during the pro- 
bationary 3000 years.' 

Outside Egypt the oldest tumidus we know of, with an abso- 
lutely authentic date, is that which Alyattes, the father of Crousus, 

I csoruou of Tunib uf AlyatlCL From SplegcltliAL Koaetla. 

king of Lydia, erected for his own resting-place before the year 
561 B.0, It was described by Herodotus,' and has of late yeurs 

' It ie m curinns na almo«t to justify 
Plazzi Smyth's wondi'Tful theories on the 
subject. But there lit no rensfm wiiut- 
evtar to RupptRC that the pmgrMn of art 
in Epj-jit JiftcTcd cBSunlially from tliat 
elKwhrn.'. The jirovioiiH exmujili^s arc- 

lost, Kml that Bc^niH all. 

' llfinxlotiu.. ii. 123; and Sir Ganlnor 
Wilkinson'/) ' .Anoient Kgypiinnf.' second 
scrit 8, i. 211 ; ii. 440 tt piiuim. 

• Uerod. i. 93. 



Chap. II. 

been thoroughly explored by Dr. Olfers.' Its dimensions are very- 
considerable, and very nearly those given by the father of history. 
It is 1180 feet in diameter, or nlmiit twice as nmcli as Silbury 
Hill, and 200 feet in hoiglit, as against 130 of that boasted monu- 
ment. The upper part, like many of our own mounds, is composed 
of alternate layers of chiy, loam, and a kind of rublile concrete. 
These sujiport a mass of briclcwork, stiruiounted by a platform of 
masonry ; on tidn still lies one of Stfletij described by Ilerodutns, 
and another of the smaller ones was found close by. 

There is another group of tombs, called thope of Tantalais, found 
near Smyrna, whieli are considerably older tlian tliose of Sardis, 
tbough their date cannot be fixed witb such certainty as that last 
described. Still tbere seems no good reason for doubting tbnt the 
one here represented may be as old as the eleventh or twelfth 




KlevnUoD of Tnnulnn it T<U)tiiUI». From T*xier'« 
* Atlo Mimar«.' Iiio fL lo 1 In. 

3. rijui and Sm:tJoa of Clinniljrr 
in I'maiilut ui r&nuUU. 

century u.c, nor doe?s it scorn reasonable to doubt but these tumuli 
wliicli still stand on llie plain of Tmy do cover the reniuius of the 
heroes who i)erishf*d in tliat remarkable siege.^ 

A still more interesting group, however, is tbat at Mycenfe, known 
as the totubs or treasuries of tbe Atrida;, and deseribud as such by 

' ' Lyduche Konigagrfttxir,' Berlin, 

' I nm, of oouree, aware that the now 
fiuiliionablc cmzo is to conaidt-r Troy a 
myth. So far, however, ae I am capaltle 

of nniJcrstandin^ it, it appears to tuo 
tliftt the ancient snlnr inytli uf Me«8Tii. 
Mnx Miillcr and Cox ia very like mere 
modern muoiuliine. 

Chap. II. 



Fausaniiis.' The priudpal, or^at least tlie beat preserved of these, 
is a circular chamber, 48 feet inches in diameter, covered by a 

.1 ^^!3fS8^Ql^^&£^M„ 

P^; -i 


10 soft, 

f II I i I I 

Sci-tioo and Plan of Tomb of Atrriu iit Mf ocne. Scitic of plan I no ft. lo I in. 

horizontal vault, and having a sepuli'lirul chamber on one tiidc. 
Dodwell liiscovercd three othere of the five mentioned by Pau- 
Banias,' and he also explored the sepulchre of Minyas at Oreho- 
nienos, which hud a diameter of 65 feet. 

Another group of tombs, contemporary or nearly so with these, 
found in the older cemeteries of the Etrurians at Cwre, Vulci, 
and elsewhere. One of the largest of these is one called Cocu- 
mella. at Vulci, which is 240 feut in dianieter, and must originally 

K. — '<-*• 

View o( Oocumclh, Vnld, 

have been 115 to 120 feet in height. Near the centre rise two 
steles, but so unsymmetrically that it is impossible to nmlerstand 
why they were so placed and how tliey could have been groupwl 
into anything like a complete fiesign. The sepulchre, too, is 
placed on one »ide. 

■ Talis, ii. nh. 16 ; ' Dotlwdls PeloHgic Rcmaina in Greece biikI Italy/ p'- * ' 
» Dodwell, 1. c. p. 13. 




Chap. II. 


A still lielier and more remarkoUe tomb is that known as the 
lieguliiii Gale^issi Tomb at Coere, the chamber of which is repre- 
sented in the annexed 

It is filled, as may be 
seen, with vessels and 
lurniture, principally of 
bronze and of the most 
C'litborate workmanship. 
The patterns on these 
vessels are so archaic, 
and resemble bo mueh 
some of the older ones 
fonud at Nineveh, w hose 
dates are at least ap- 
proximately known, that 
we may safely rei'er the 
tomb to an age not later 
tlittu the tenth cen- 
tury B.C,' 

We have thus around 
the eastern ehores of the 
Mediterranean a group of ei renin r sepuldiral tumuli of well 
defined age. Some, certainly, are as old as the ihirteentli century 
B.C., others extend downwards to, say 500 B.o. All have a podium 
of stone. Some are wholly of that material, but in most of them 
the cone is composed of earth, and all have sopideliral chambers 
built with stones in l)orizt»ntal hiyors, not so megalithie as those 
found ill our tumuli, but of a more polished and artistic form of 

The age, too, in which these monuments were erected was 
essentially the age of bronze; not only are the ornaments and 
furniture found in the Etrascan tombs generally of that metal, but 
the tomb.s at l^rycenre and Orchoraenos were wholly lined with 
it. The holes into whiidi the bronze nails were inserted still 

S, View vl prluuliiitl Chamber Ui KrguUnl Utlcaial Tumb, 

' Mom iMirtiouIars and illiutratinris of these totobs will be ^found in the fir»t 
volume of my ' lliattny of Arclutccturc," and they uued not, tliwtforo, be rcpiated 

Chap. IL 



exist everywhere, aud sonio of the nails themselves are in the 
British Museum. It was also the age in which Solomon furnished 
his temple with all those iraplcnieuts and ornaments in brass — 
properly bronze — descril ed in the Bible,' and the brazen house 
of Priam and fifty such expressions sIjow how common the metal 
was in that daj^ All this, however, does not prove that iron 
also was not known then. In the Egyptian paintings iron is 
generally represented as a blue metal, bronze as red, aud through- 
out they are carefully distinguished by these coloui-s. Now, in 
the tombs around the pyramids, and of an age contemporary with 
them^ there are numerous represenlatiuns of blue swords as 
there ore of red spear-heads, and there seems no reason for 
doubting that iron was known to the Greeks before the war of 
Troy, to the Israelites before they left Egypt (1320 b.c.), or to 
the Etruscans when they first settled in Italy. Hesiod's asser- 
tion that brass was known before iron may or may not be true.' 
In 80 far as his evidence is eoncenied wo learn from it that 
iron waa certainly in use long before his time (800 B.C.) ; so long 
indeed that be does not pretend to know «hen or by whom it 
was invented, and the DRKles of manufacturing steel — dSd/Mtt — 
seem also to have been perfectly known in his day. 

In India, too, as we shall see when we come to speak of that 
country, the extraction of iron from its ores was known from the 
earliest ages, and in the third or fourth century of our vra reached 
a degree of perfection which has hardly since been surpassed. 
The celebrated iron pillar at the Kutub, near Delhi, which is 
of that age, may pn^ably still boast of being the largest mass of 
forged iron that the world yet possesses, and attests a wonderful 
amonnt of skill on the part of those wiio made it 

When from these comparatively civilized modes of sepulture we 
turn to the forms employed in our own country, as describeti by 
Thurnam ' or Bateraan,* we are startled to find how like they are, 
but, at the same time, bow infinitely more rude. They are either 
long barrows covering the remains of a race of dolioocephalic 

• 1 Kings, Tii. 18 el uqq. ; 2 Cliron, iv. > ch«ologi»,' xxxviii, 

I et ffi/q. \ * 'Vestiges of the AntiqiiitlfB of Dcr- 

» H*?iiiod. 'WorkaandDiiyB,'!. l.^O. | bjebirt/ 1848. 'Ten Yeura' UigSioga,' 

* 'CtnniB Britannica.' pattim. 'At- \ 1801. 

U 2 



CuAr. 11. 

savages laid in riidely-framed cists, with implements of flint and 
bone and tiie coarsest possible pottery, but vitbout one vestige of 
metal of any sort, or circndur tumuli of a brachycephalic race 
eliovvu to bavo been sligbtly more advaneed by tlieir remains 
being uirasiounliy incinerated, and ornaments of bronze andsjx?ar- 
heads of that metal being also sometimes found buried in their 

According to the usual mode of reasoning on these subject*?, the 
long-headed people are older tlwii the broad-pated race, the one 
superseding the othefj and both must Imve been anterior to the 
people on the shores of the Ulediterranenn, for these were familiar 
with the use of both nietuls, and fabricated pottery whicli we 
cannot now equal fur perfection of texture and beauty of design. 

The first defect that strikes one in this argument is that if it 
proves anything it proves too much. We certainly have sepulchral 
barrows in this country of the Roman period, the Bartlow hillgj 
for instance — of which n ore hereafter — and Saxon grave monnds 
everywhere; but accord ng to this theory not one sepidchre of any 
sort between the year 1200 ii.c. and the Christian era. All our 
sepulchres are rudor, and betoken a less ad\anced stage of civili- 
zation than the earliest of those in Greece or Etruria, and there- 
fore, according to the usually accepted dogma, must be earlier. 

It may bo argued, however, that several are older than the 
Argive examples. That the Jersey tomb (wooficut No. 11), not- 
withstanding the coin of Claudius, is older, because more rude, 
tlum the Treasury at Myceuo) (woo<lcut No. 4); but that the 
Eartlow' hills and the I>erbysl)ire dolmens and tumuli above 
alluded to (j^age II et seqq.), containing euins of Valontinian and 
the Ronuin Etn|»erors, are more modern. Such an hypothesis as 
tin's involves the wupposition that there is a great gap in the 
series, and that after discontinuing the practice for a 1000 or 
1500 years, our forefathers returned to their old habits, but 
with ruder fonns than they liad used before, and after continuing 
them for five or six centuries, finally abandoned ihem. This 
is possible, of course, but there is absolutely no proof of it that 
I know. On the contrary, so far as our knowledge of them at 
present extends, the whole of the megalithic rude stone mouu- 
menta group together as one style as essentially as the Classical or 

Chap. II. 



Gothic or any otiier style of arcliitectare. No solution of continuity 
can be detected anywhere. All are — it may be — prehistoric ; or 
all, as I believe to be the case, belong to historic times. The 
choice seems to be between these two categories ; any hypotliesis 
based on the separation into a historic and a prehistoric group, 
distinct in characteristics as in age, appears to be utterly un- 

The argument derived from the absence of iron in all our 
sepulchres also proves more than is desirable. The Danish 
antiquaries all admit that iron was not known in that country 
before the Christian era. Our antiquarioa, from the testimony of 
Caisar as to its use in war by the Britons, are forced to admit on 
earlier date, but it ia hardly, if ever, found in graves. It is, on the 
other hand, perhaps correct to assume that its use was known in 
Egypt 3000 yeare before Christ; even if this is disputed, it 
certainly was known in the 18tli dynasty, 15 centuries B.C., and 
generally in the Mediterranean shortly afterwards. If, then, the 
knowledge of the most useful of metals took 3000 or even 1500 
years to travel across the continent of Europe, it seems impossible 
to base any argument on the influence these people exf^rcised 
on one another, or on the knowledge they may have had of each 
others' ways. 

Or to take the argument in a form iiean>r home. When Cjcsar 
warred against the Yenoti in the Morbihun, he found them in 
poesessioD of vessels larger and stronger than the Roman galleys, 
capable of being manoeuvred by their sails alone, without the use 
of oars. Not only were these vessels fastened by iron nails, but 
they were moored by chain cables of iron. To manufacture such 
chains, the Veneti must have had access to large mines of the 
ore, and liad long familiarity with i<s mannfacture, and they used 
it not only for purposes on shore like the Britons, but in vessels 
capable of trading betwoeu Brest and Penzance — no gentle sea 
— and quite equal to voyages to the Baltic or other northern 
ports, which they no doubt made ; it is asserted that, in 50 B.C., 
the Scandinavians were ignorant of the use of iron, though 
their country possessed the richest mines and the best ores of 

The truth of the matter appears to he that, a century or so 




before Christ, Euglaiul aiid Denmark were as little known to 
Greece and Italy, and as little influenced by tbeir arts or civilization, 
as Borneo or New Zealand were by those of modern Eiirope at the 
be^n'uniiig of the hist century. Even now, with all our cnlouization 
and civilizing power, we have had marvellously little real influence 
on the native races, and were our power removed, all traces would 
rapidly disitppear, ajul the people revert at once to what they were, 
and act as they were wont to do, before they knew us. 

In like manner the North American Indiana have been very 
little influenced by the residence of some millions of proselytizing 
Europeans among them for 200 yeare, and while this is so, it 
seems most groundless to argue because a few Phoenician traders 
may have visited this island to purchase tin, that, therefore, they 
introduced their manners and customs among its inlmbitants ; or 
because a traveller like Pythoas may liave vi.sited the Cimbriau 
Chersonese, or even ])enetrated nearly to the Arctic Circle, that hig 
visit had, or could Lave, any influence on the civilization of these 
countries.' Civilization, as fur as v\e can see, was only advanced 
in northern and western Euroj>e by the exterinitnation of the ruder 
races. Had tliis rude but effective method nut been resorted to, 
we should probably have a stone-using people among us at the 
present day. 

We may not know much of 'what happened in northern Europe 
before the time of the Romans, but we feel tolerably safe in asserting 
that none of the civilized nations around the Meiliterraueau bji^in 
ever colonized and settled sufficiently long in northern Europe to 
influence j)cre(ptib!y the nnuincrH or usages of the natives. WTiat 
progress was made was efifected by migrations among themselves, 
the more civilized tribes taking the place of those less advanced, 
and bringing their higher civilization with them. 

If these views are at all correct, it seems hopeless by any- 
empirical theories founded on what we believe ought to have 
happened or on any analogies drawn from what occurred in other 
countries to arrive at satisfactory conclusions ou the subject. It 
is at best reasoning from the unknown towai'da wliat we fancy 

' 8c« aintroTcrsy between Sir George 
0.>riH3WKlL Luwis in his ' Astronomy of 
tUi? Aiu'jfiiU,' I'. 4<)" ft t^'i'l- """^ ^" 

John Lubbock, in •Prebistofic Timca,' 
I>. 50 rf teqq. widi regard to TytbeKS 

iiiul bis (liscriTcrii'D, 

CuAP. IT. 



may be found out. A much raoro satisfactory process would be to 
reason from the known backwards so far as we have a sure foot- 
ing, and we may fefl certain that by degrees as our knowledge 
advances we shall get further and further forward in the true tmck, 
and may eventually be able to attach at least approximative dates 
to all our monuments. 

From this piint of view, what concerns us most, in the first 
instance at least, is to know liow late, rather than how early, our 
ancestors buried in tumuli. We have, for instance, certainly, the 
Bartlow Hills, just alluded to, which are sepulchres of the Konian 
period, probably of HadriiUi's time ; and we have in Denmark the 
tumuli in which King Goriu and his English wife, Queen Thyra 
Dauebode, were buried in a.d. 950, AVe probably also may be 
able to fill in a few others between these two dates, and add some 
after even the last. Tlius, therefore, we have a firm basis from 
which to start, and working backwards from it may clear up some 
difljciilties that now appear insuperable. 


The monuments alluded to in the last section were either the 
rude barrows of onr savage ancestors, uilli tlie ruder cists, or 
the chambered tumuli of a people who, wiien we lirst became 
acquainted, with tliom, had attained nearly as high a degree of 
civilization as any Turanian people are capable of attaining, 'i'he 
people who erecteil suck buildings as the Tombs of Myccnaj or Or- 
chomenos must have reached a respectable degree of organization. 
They possessed a perfect knowledge of the use of metals, and 
great wealth in bronze at least, and had attained to considerable 
skill in construction. Yet it is not diflicnlt to trace back — in 
imagination, at least — tho various steps by which a small rude 
chamber in a circular mound, just capable of protecting a single 
body, may by degrees have grown into a ricldy-urnamented brazen 
chamber, 50 or GO feet in diameter and of eqitul height. Nor is 
it more diflScult to foresee what this burieil chamber would have 
become, had not the Aryan occupation of (ireeco — figured under 
the myth of the return of the Henudeidjc — put a stop to the tnmli- 
building propensities of the people. Before long it must have 



Chap. II. 

burst from its chrysalis state, and agsxitned a fonn of external 
beauty. It must have emerged from ita earthea envelope, and 
taken a form which it did take iu Africa' a thousand years after- 
wards, — a rickly-ornanieuted jHxlium, snrmouiited by a stepped 
cone and crowned by a stele. In Greece it went no farther, and 
its history and its use wore alike strange to the people who after- 
wards occMpiod the country. 

In Italy its history was somewhat different. The more mixed 
people of Kome eagerly adopted the funereal magnificence of the 
Etruscans, and their tumuli under the Empire became magnified 
into such monuments as the Tomb of Augustus in the Campua 
Martins, or the still more gorgeous niauBoIeum of Hadrian, at the 
foot of the Vatican hill. 

In like manner, it would not bo difficult by the same process 
to trace the steps by which the rude topes of the Tartjir steppea 
bloomed at last into the wondrous domes of the Patan and Mogol 
Emperors of Delhi or the other Maliomedan principalities in the 
East. To do all this would form a most inteiestiiig chapter in 
the history of architecture, more interesting, perhaps, than th& 
one we arc about to attempt; but it is not the same, though 
both spring from the same origin. The people or peoples who 
eventually elaborated these wonderful mausoleums or domed 
stjuctures aflected, at the very earliest periods at which we become 
acquainted with them, what may be called Microlitbic architec- 
ture. In other words, they used as small stones as they could use, 
consistently with tlieir constructive necessities. These stones were 
always squaretl or hewn, and they always sought to attain their 
ends by construction, not by the exhibition of mere force. On the 
other liand, the people whoso works now occupy us always affected 
the employment of the largest masses of stone they could find or 
move. With the rarest possible exceptions, they preferred their 
being untouched by a chisel, and as rarely were they ever used 
in any properly constructive sense. In almost every instance it 
was sought to attain the wished- for end by mass and tlie expression 
of power. No two styles of architecture can well be more different, 
either in their forms or motives, than these two. All that they 

la the Rubber lioumciit, in the 8ahil, or uUo Madraocn, uoor Blidnb. 

Chap. If. 



have in common is that they both spring from the same origin 
in the chambered tomulus, and both were devoted throughout 
to sepulchral purposes, bnt in form and essence they diverged at a 
very early period. Long before we liecome acquainted with either ; 
and, having once separated, they only came together again when 
both were on the point of expiring. 

The Buddlitst Dagobas are another offshoot from the same source, 
which it would be quite as interesting to follow as the tombs of 
the kings or emperors; for our present purposes, perhaps, more 
80, as they retained throughout a religious character, and being 
consequently freed from the ever-varying influence of individual 
caprice, they bear the impress of their origin distinctly marked 
upon them to the present day. 

In In^lia, where Buddhism, as we now know it, first arose, the 
prevalent custom — at least among the civilized races — was cre- 
mation. We do not know when they buried their dead ; but in 
the earliest times of Buddhism they adopted at once what was 
certainly a sepulchral tumulus, and converted it into a relic 
shrine : just as in the early ages of Christianity tlie stone sarco- 
phagus became the altar in the basilica, and was made to contain 
the relics of the saint or saints to whom the church was dedicated. 
The earliest monuments of this class which we now know are 
ihofie erected by the King Asoka, about the year 250 B.C.; but 
there does not seem much reason for doubting that when the 
body of Buddha was burnt, and his relics distributed among 
eight different places,' Dagobas or Stupas may not then have 
been erected for their reception. None of theHe have, how- 
ever, been identified; and of the 84,000 traditionally said to 
have been erected by Asoka, that at Sanchi' is the only one we 
can feel quite sure belongs to his age ; but, from that date to the 
present day, in India as well as in Ceylon, Burmah, Siam, and 
elsewhere, examples exist without number. 

All these are microlithic, evidently the work of a civilized and 
refined people, though probably copies of the ruile forms of more 
primitive races. Many of them have stone enclosures; but, like 

' See Tumour iu 'J. A. S. B.' vii. p. 1013. 

• Cuuningliam, 'Bil«»li Toi.(<»,' p(mii»; nwl'Tree and gerpcnl Wonbip,' hy the 
r, p. 87-U8. 



Chap, II. 

that at Sanclii, erected between 250 B.C. and 1 a.d., so eviilently 
derived from carpeutry that we feci it was copied directly, like all 
the Buddliist architecture of lliat age, from wooden ori<^iiinls. 
Whether it was frota the fuskiou of crLCting stone circlefi round 
tnmuli, or from what other cause, it is impossihle now to say; 
but as time went on the form of the rail became more ami uiore 
essentially lithic, and throughont the middle ages the Buddliist 
toj)e, with ita circle or eircles of stones, bore much more analogy 
to the mcgtdithic monumenta of our own country than did the 
tombs just alluded to; and we are often startled by similarities 
which, however, seem to have no other cause than their having a 
common parent, being, in fact, derived from one primmvnl L>rigiiia1. 
Tliere is nothing In all this, at all events, that would lead us to 
the conchisioE that tlie iiolished stone monuments of India were 
either older or more modern than the rudo stone structure.^ of the 
West. Each, in fact, must be judged by its own standard, and by 
that alone. 

For the proper understanding of what is to follow the dis- 
tinctions just pointed out sluntld always be borne in mind, as 
none aro more important. Half indeed of the confusion that 
exists on the eubjcjct arises from their having been hitherto 
neglected. There is no doubt that oreu^ional similarities can 
be detected between these various styles, but they amount to 
notliing more than should be expected fi'om family likenesses 
consequent upon their having a common origin and analogous 
puqmses. But, except to this extent, these styles scein aWohitely 
distinct throughout their whole course, though running parallel 
to one another during tlie whole period in which they are 
practised. If this is so, any hypothesis based on the idea that 
the microlithic architecture either preceded or succeeded to the 
megalithic at once falls to the ground. Nor, if these distinctions 
are maintained, will it any longer be possible to determine any 
dates in succession in megalithic art from analogies drawn from 
what may have happened at any period or place among the 
builders of microlithic structures. The fsict which we have got 
to deal with seems to be that the megalithic rude stone art of 
our forefathers is a thing by itself — a peculiar form of art 
arising either from its being adopted by a peculiar race or |>eculiar 

Chap. II. 




group of races among mankind, or from its having been practised 
by people at a certain stage of irivilizution, or under pei-uliftr 
circumstances, und this it is our business to try to find uut uiid 
define. But to do this, the first thing that seems rcqwsite is 
to put aside all previously conceived notions on the subject, 
and to treat it an one entirely new, and as depending for its 
elucidation wholly on whnt can be gathered from its own form 
and its own utterances, however indistinct they may at first appear 
to be. 

Bearing this in mind, we have no difficulty in beginning our 
history of megalithic remains with tht? nulo stone cists, generally 
called kistvaens, which are found in si'inilchrnl tumuli. Sometimes 
these consist of only four, but generally of six or more stones set 
edgeways, and covered by a capstone, so as to protect the body 
from being crushed. By degrees tliis kistvaen became magnified 
into a chamber, the side stoaes increasing from 1 or 2 feet in 
height to 4 or 5 feet, and the capstone becoming a really mega- 
lithic feature or 10 feet long, by 4 or 5 feet wide, and also of 
considerable thickness. Many of these contained more one 
funeral deposit, and they consequently could not have been covered 
up by the tumuli till the last deposit was placed in them. This 
seoms to have been felt as an inconvenience, ns it led to the third 
step, namely, of a passage communicating with tlie outer air, and 
formed like the charal.iers of upright stones, and roofed by flat 
ones extending across from side to side. The most perfect 
example of this class is perhaps tliat in t!ie tumulus of Gavr 
innis in the ^[orbihan. Here is a gallery 42 feet long and from 
4 to 6 feet wide, leading to a chamber 8 feet square, the whole 
being covered with sculptures of the most elaborate character. 

A fourth stage is well illustrated by the chambers of New 
Grange, in Ireland, where a siiniiar passage leads to a compound 
or cruciform clmmber rudely roofed by converging stones. Another 
beautiful example of the same class is that of Maeshow in the 
Orkneys, which, owing to the peculiarity of the stone with which 
it is budt, comes more nearly to the character of microlithic art 
than any other example. It is probably among the last if not 
the very latest of the class erected in these isles, and by a curious 
coucatcuation of circumstances brings the mcgalithiu form of art 




xetj Dearlj up to tlie stage vhere ve left its microUtluc aster at 
Hyo^ue some two thocBBiid rean before its tisae. 

AH this will be made dearer in the sequel, bat meanwhile there 
are otie or two poiutB which most be deared up before \re can 
go farther. Maaj antiqiianes insist that all the dolmens' ur 
cromlechs,* which we now see standing free^ were once covered*! 
ap and buried in tnmalL* That all the earlier ones were so, 
is more than probable, and it may since hare been origioally 
intended aIso to corer tip many of those which now stand free ; 
bat it seems impossible to beliere that the balk of those we now 
see were ever hidden ify any earthen covering. 

Probably at least one hundred oncoTercd dolmens in these 
islands ooold be mametated, which have not now a trace of 
any sach envelope. Some are sitoated on oncoltirated heaths, 
some on headlands, and most of them in waste places. Yet it is 
eontende^l that improving fanners at some remote age not 
only levelled the mounds, bat actnally carted the whole away and 
spread it so evenly over the sarface that it is impussible now to 
detect its previous existence. If this had taken place in this 
century when land has become so valuable and labour so skilled 
we might not wonder, but no trace of any each operation occurs 
in any living memory. Take for instance Kits Cotty House, it is 
exactly now where it was when Stukeley drew it in 1715,' and 
there was no tradition tlien of any mound ever having covered it. 
Yet it is contended that at some earlier age when the site wtis 
probably only a sheep-walk, some one carried away the mound 
for some unknown purpose, and spread it out so evenly that we 
cannot now find a trace of it. Or take another instance, that 
at Clatford Bottom,' also drawn by Stukeley. It stands as a 
chalky flat to whicli cultivation is only now extending, and which 

' Doliiivii ii derivid from the Celtic 
word J)aul, n talile— not Dol, a holo — 
anil Mm vt Maen. m ntonc. 

• Crom, in Cellii.-, incrtKikodoreurrcd, 
mid IliiTfforo nrliolly inafi|ilicable to tho 
DX'iniiniciits ill qiinxtluii : mid ieeh, stunct. 

* Tbu niuat zouloua ndvucaln of IliLs 
vlow tH Ihi' Hov. W. C. Liikin, will), wiiL 

U fullirr, hiut dimo minh gixMl service iii 
■a Ciuiiiiic'l LtliitiilM. IJio vioWH arc uiu- 

bodicd in u fow verjr distinct word< in Uie 
Norwich rolume of the ' Prehiutoric Coii- 
grt-ss,' p. 218, but h&d prcvinusly lufn 
put forward in n paper read to tlie Wilt- 
shire Arrhicoloj;ical SinMetyin ISCL, and 
itftcrward^ in tlio ' Kilkenny Jouriml,' 

V. N. 8. p. 41)2 et »eqq. 

* ' Iter Curiosuui,' pi. xsxii. iinJ szxiii. 

' ' Stanohcnge and Avoburj-,' pi. xxxii. 

x.\xiii. iinrl xxxiv. 

Chap. II. 



cci-tainly was a sheep-walk in Stukeley's time, and why, therefore, 
any one should have taken the trouble or been at the expense of 
•Jenading it is very Jiflieult to uiidorstand, and so it is with nine- 
tentlis of the rest of thera. In the earlier days wJien a feeling for 
the seclusion of the tomb was strong, burying tliera in the recesses 
of a tumnhis may have been the universal practice, bat \vhen 
men learned to move such masses as they afterwards did, and to 
poise them so delicately in the air, thoy may well have preferred 
the exhibition of their art. to concealing it in a heap which had no 
beauty of form and exhibited no skill. Can any one for instance 
conceive that such a dolmen as that at Castle \\'ellai] in Ireland 




t>»llB(0 la CBstlo WelUa, IreUod. Kruni « drawing bf Sir Ueniy Jamec 

■,-/'«W^-' •■•••«*^ ,x\v««**wi£r 

ever formed a chamber in barrow, or tliat any Irish farmer 
would ever have made such a level sweep of its envelope if it 
ever had one ? So in fact it is with almost all we know. Tt\'lien 
a dolmen was intended to be buried in a tumulus the stones sup- 
porting the roof were placed as closely to one another as possible, 
HO aa to form walls and prevent the earth penetrating between 
them and Ailing the chambers, which was easily accomplished by 
fllliag in the interstices with small stones as was very generally 
done. These trii>od dolmens, ho\\evor, like that at Castle Wellan, 
just quoted, never had, or could have liud walls. The cap&tone is 
there poised on three points, an«l is a studied exhibition of a tour 
i force. No traces of walls exist, and if earth had been heaped 
lp«>n it the intervals would have been the tirst part filled, and Uie 



Chap. II. 

luof an absuidity, as no cliomber could have existed. These tripod 
dohueus are very numerous, and well worth distinguishing, as it 
19 [irobuble thot they will turn out to be more modern than the 
walled variety of the same class. But with our present limited 
knowledge it is hardly safe to insist on this, however probable it 
seems at first fiJght. 

The question, however, fortunately, hardly requires to be argued, 
innsnnu-h as in Ireland, in Denmurk,' and more especially in 
France, we liave numerous examples of dolmens on the top of 
tumuU, where it is inijiossible tfiey should ever have been covered 
with earth. One example for the present will explain what is 
mcnnt. In the Dolmen de Bousquet in the Aveyron'"' the chamber 


■*\« jfc ;| 

g. Ijulut'ii lie Duiuqact. Frum a drawing by E. Cortailluc. 

is placed on the top of a tumulus, which from tlie three circles of 
stone that surround it, and other indications, never conld have 
been higher or larger than it now is. 

So far as I know, none of these dolmen-erowned tumuli have 
been dug into, which is lo be regretted, as it would be curious to 
know whether the txtornal dolmen is the real or only a simulated 
tomb. My owa impression would be in favour of the latter 
hypothesis, inasmuch as a tme and a false tomb are characteristic 
of all similar monuments. In the pyramids of Egypt they co- 
existed. In every Buddhist tope, without exception, there is a 
Tee, Avhich is in every ease we know only a simiilated relic-casket. 
Originally it may have been the place whore the reUc was dejx)- 
sited, and as we know of instunces where relics Mere exposed to 

' Mudsen, 'Antiquitca PnliUtoriquea,' pi, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. 
* NorvrieL vulume of ' Prvliistoric Congrees,' p, 355, pi. vi. 

Chap. II. 




9. Tee cut In tbe Rock no « Dagobt at AJonta. 

the crowd on certain festivals, it is difficult to understand wtere 
they were kept, except in some external case like this. In 

every instance, however, in which 

a relic has been found it has 
been in the centre of the Topo 
and never in the Tee. A still 
more apfwsite illustration, how- 
ever, is found in tbe tombs 
aronnd Agra and Dolln. la all 
those of any pretension the body 
is buried in the eartli iu a vimlt 

IhjIow the floor of the tomb and a gi-avestone laid over it, but on 
the floor of the chaniber, under the dome, there is always a 
simulated sarcophagus, which is the ouly one seen by visitors. 
This is curried even further in the tomb of the Great Akbar 
(1536, IGOo). Over the vault is raised a pyramid surrounded, 
not like this tumulus by three rows of stones, but by three rows 
of pavilions, and on the top, exposed to the air, is a simulated 
tomb placed exactly as this dolmen is. No two buildings could 
well seem more different at first sight, but their common parent- 
age and purpose can hardly be mistaken, and it must be curious 
U^ know whether the likeness extends to the double tomb also. 

This, like many other questions, mui^t be left to the spade to 
determine, but, unless attention is turned to the analogy above 
alluded to, the purpose of the double tomb may be misunderstood, 
evt'u when foimd, and frei{ueutly, I suspect, has already been mis- 
taken fur a Sfcondaiy iuteriijuut. 


Circles form another group of tlio iiumuineiits we are alwut to 
treat of, in this country more important than the dolmens to which 
the last section was devoted. In France, however, they are 
harfily known, though in Algeria they are very frequent. In 
Denmark and Sweden they are both numerous and important, 
but it is in the Jiritish Islands that circles attained tiieir greatest 
development, and assumed the importance they maintain in all 
the works of our antiquaries which treat of megahthic art. 

The cognate examples in the miondithie styles afford us very 



t'UAr. II. 

little assistance in detormining either the origin or use of this 
class of monument. It might, nay has been suggested, that the 
podium which surmounts such a tuinulus> lor instance, that of 
the Cocumella (woodcut No. 5) would, if the mound were removed, 
suggest, or be suggested, by the stone circles of our forefathers. This 
podium, however, seems always to have been a purely constructire 
expedient, without any mystic or religious significance, for unless 
tlte base of an eai-then mound is confined by a revetement of this 
sort it is apt to spread, find tlien the whole monument loses that 
definition which is requisite to dignity. 

The Rails of the Indian Buddhists at first sight seem to offer a 
more plausible suggestion of origin, but it is one on which it 
would be dangerous in the present state of our knowleilgo to rely 
too much ; if for no other reason, for the one just given, that up 
to tlio time of Asoka, B.C. 250. they, like all tlie architecture of 
India, were in wood and wood only. Stone as a building material, 
either rude or hewn, was unknown in that couutry till apparently 
it was suggested to them by the Bactrlan Greeks, Unless, there- 
fore, we are prepared to admit that all our stone circles are subse- 
quent, by a considerable interval of time, to the epoch of Asoka, 
they were not derived from India. My own impression is that all 
may ultimately prove to have been erected subsequently to the 
Christian P]rn, but till that is established we must look elsewhere 
than to Imlia for our original form, and even then avo have only 
got a possible analogy ;, and nothing approaching to a proof that 
any connexion existed between them. 

The process in this couutry, so far as I can make out, was 
diflerent, though tondiug to ii similar result. The stone circle-s in 
Europe appear to have been introduced in supercession to the 
circulur earthen mounds which surroimd the early tumuli of our 
Downs. Th('se eartlieu enclosures Ktill continued to be used, 
surrounding stone monuments of the latest ag* s, but, if I mistake 
not, they first gave rLse to the form itself. Such a circle, for 
instance, as that called the Nine Ladies on Stanton 3I(X)r, I 
take to be a transitional example. The circular mound, which 
is 38 feet in diameter, enclosed a sepulchral tumulus, as was, 
no doubt, the case from time immemorial, but, in this instance, 
was further adorned and dignified by the circle of stones erecte<l 

Chat. II. 


upon it. A century or so afterwards, when stone had become 
more recognized as a building material, the circular mound may 
Iinve been disused, and then the stone circle would ftloiie rentain. 



Nine Lwlla. Staolan Miwr. froiTi • dnwing hy U Jr« UL 

These stone circles are found enclosing tumuli, as in the Dolmen 
de Bousquet (woodcut No. S), in three rows, and sometimes five 
or seven rows are found. They frequently also enclose dolmens, 
either standing on the level plain or on tumuli, but often, especi- 
ally in this country, they are found enclosing nothing that can 
be seen above ground. This has led to the assumption that they 
are " Things," comitia — or places of assembly— or, still more 
commonly, that they are temples, though, now that tlie Druidical 
theor}' is nearly abandoned, no one has been able to suggest to 
what religion they are. or were, dedicated. The spade, however, is 
gradually dispelling all these theories. Out of say 200 stone circles 
which are found in these islands, at least one-half, on being dug 
out, have yielded sepulchral deposits. One-quarter are still 
untouched by the excavator, and the remainder which have not 
yielded up their secret are mostly the larger circles. Their 
evidence, however, is at best only negative, for, till we know 
exactly where to dig, it would require that the whole area should 
be trenched over before we can feel sure we had not missed the 
ijepulchral deposit. When, as at Avebnry, the circle encloses an 
wea of 28 acres,' and the greater part of it is occupied by a 
village, no blind digging is likely to lead to any result, or can be 
accepted as evidence. 

Still the argument would be neither illegitimate nor illogical if, 
in the present state of tlie evidence, it were contended that all 
stone circles, up say to 100 feet diameter, were sepulchral, as niue- 
tenths of them have been proved to be, but that the larger circles 
were cenotaphic, or, if another expression is preferred, temples 

* Bir U. Colt Uuarc. ' Anvicut Wiltshire,' ii. 71. 



CBAr. 11. 

dedicated to tLe honour or worship of the dead, but in which no 
bodies were buried. But to admit — and it cannot now be denied 
— that all circles up to 100 feet are sepulchral, yet to assert that 
ubovo that dimension tliey became temples dedicated to the sun, 
or serpents, or demous, or Druids, without auy other change of 
plan or design but increased dimensions, appears a wholly un- 
tenable proposition. 

All this will, it is hopeil, bo made more clear in the sequel when 
wo come to examine particular exaruples, regarding which it is 
more easy to reason than merely from general principles; but 
ill the meanwhile there is one other peculiiuity which should be 
pointed out before proceeding further. It is that where great 
groujjs of circles are found, they — so far as is at present known — 
never mai'k cemeteries whore successive generations of kings or 
chiefs were buried, but battle-fields. The circles, or dolmens, or 
cairns grouped in these localities seem always to have Iwen erected 
by their comrades, to the memory of those who on these spots 
"fiercely fighting, fell," and are nionuuaeats as well of the prowess 
of the survivors us of those who were less fortunate. The proof 
of this also must depend on individual examples to be brought 
forward in the following jmges. It does not, however, seem to 
present much difficulty, the principal point in the ai^iment being 
that they are generally found in solitary places far removed 
from the centres of population, or are sometimes single and 
that they show no progression. Had they been cemeteries or 
sepulchres of kings, several would undoubtedly have been found 
gniupod together ; progressioii and individuality would have been 
observed ; and lastly, they are just such monuments as an army 
could erect in a week or a month, but which the inhabitants 
of the spot could not erect in years, and could not use for any 
conceivable purpose when erected. 


It is somewhat unfortunate that no recognized name has yet 
been hit upon for this class of monument. Alignment has been 
suggested, but the term is hardly applicable to two rows of 
stones, for instance, leading to a circle. Parullellitha is, at best, 
u barbarous compound, and as such better avoided. Though 

'^UAP. II. 



[therefore, tbo >¥ord avenues can Imrdly be called appropriate to 

'rows of stones loading from nowliere to no place, and between 

which there is no evidence that anybody ever was intended to 

walk, still it seoina the least objectionable expression that has 

yet been hit upon, and as such it will be nsed tbronghont. 

These avenues are of two classes. First, those leading to circles. 

j About the origin of this cla8.s there can be very little hesitation. 

They represent eiteriially the passagos in tntnnli which load in the 

central chamber; take, tor instance, this example front a now 

t-».t. i 


? Jt rtET 


ChmtlwnM Tuwulna, Jrt*-f. 

■cleatroyed' tumulus near St. Helier, in Jersey.' The circular 
chauiber was 21 feet in diameter, and contained originally seven 
little cell's, each roofed by a single slab of stone. This circular 
area was approached by an avenue, 17 feet long at the time of its 
destruction, which was rixjfed throughout the whole length with 
slabs of stone. The central cimniber never, however, appears to 
have been vaulted, so that access to the tombs through this passage 
could never have been possible after the mound was finished. The 
chamber was found filled with earth, and tho whole monument 
covered up by a tumulus uf considerable extent. It need hardly 
be observed that it is more unlikely that any people should cover 
up such a monument at any subsequent age, than that they 

' Tho ntdnes of whirh it was compowHl vtvro tninsfiortcd by Geni'n) O'uwny 
to Pnrk I'litcc, ncxu' Hon)cy-<iii-Thiiiu<si, ami ro-croctod tlitre. 
• • Areheologia," viii. p. 384. 

K 2 



Chap. II. 

should dig out such monumenta and leave tbera Btandiuiif wilhout 
their envelopes, as is so generally assutuod. Tlie tumulus wivs 
removed, because the officer in command of the neighbouring 
fort wtmted a level jmrade-gTound. As it stood niicovered it was 
n mininture Avebury, and the [losition of its cells may give us 
A hint where the boilies may be found there — near the outer 
circle of stones, where they Itave not Imen looked for. But of 
this hereafter. It is meanwliile evident that while these 
monuments were in course of erection tliey stood as shown in 
the last woodcut, and it is also tolerably clear that when 
])eoplo became familiar with their aspect in this state, they 
may have learned to rei^ret hidin;^ under a heap of earth what 
we certaitdy would have tbuuglit more interesting as it was. 
In like manner, as John Stuart well remarlis, "If the cairns 
at New Grange were removed, the pillars would form another 
Callernish." ' It is true, however, that if the Jersey monument is 
the type of Avebury, the latter must be comparatively modern, 
as a coiu of Claudiuc;, found in one of the cells at St. 
Helier,' probably fixes its date. Ajjain, as we expect to be 
able to prove that New Grange is sul>sequent to the Christian 
era, Callernish must be more modern also. Bo this as it may, 
I think tliere can be very littlo doubt that these exposed 
circles, with their avejiucs, took their rise, as in the case of 
dulmeua, from people becoming famib'ar with their fonus before 
they were covered up, and eventually reconciling themselves to 
dispense with the envelope. In the ease of the circles, the new 
plan WHS capable of infinitely greater extension tlian in that 
of tho dolmens; but the process seems to have been the same in 
both instances. 

Before leaving the Jersey circle, if any one will compare it with 
the chamber at SEyconre (woodcut No. 4), they can hai-diy fail to 
perceive the close similarity and probable identity of destination 
that exists between them ; but as the island example is very much 
ruder, accord in ir to the usual reasoning it must be the more aucieut 
of the two. This, however, is the capital fallacy which has pervaded 
all roiisoning on the subject hitherto. It is true that nothing can 

' "Stulptiircil ^itllllc8 ofScnttanil,' ii. Inliwl. p 25. 

' Anhteolngia,' viii. p. 385. 

Chap. II. 



bo more interesting or more instructive than to traoe the progress of 
tho Classical, the Medijeval, and tlie Indian styles through their 
ever-changing phases, or to watch the influence whicli one style had 
on the other. That progress was, however, always confined within 
the limits of a nation, or community of nations, and the influence 
limited to such nations as from similarity of race or constant 
intercourse were in position to ijiflui.'nce reciprocally not only the 
architecture, but their arts and feelings. In order to establish 
this in the present instance, we must prove that there was such 
community of race and frequency of intercourse between the 
Channel Islands and Greece 1000 years B.C., that the latter 
wouM copy the other, or rather that liUUO years B.C. the Channel 
Islandoi-s gave the Greeks those hints which they were enabled 
to elaborate, and of which the chambera at Mycenao about the 
time of the Trojan war were the result. Had this been the case 
the influence could hardly have ceased as civilization and inter- 
rse with other countries increase*!, and we ought to find Tholoi 
In great perfection in these islands, and probably temples and 
arts in all the perfection to which they were afterwards expanded 
in Greece. In fact, we get into such a labyrinth of conjecture, 
that no escape seems possible. It would bo almost as reasonable 
to argue that the images on Easter Island, which we know con- 
tinued to be car^-ed in our day, were prehistoric, because they 
are so much ruder than the works of Phidias. The truth is, that 
where we cannot trace commnnity of race or religion, accom- 
panied by constant and familiar intercourse, wo must take each 
jieople as doing wliat their state of civilization enabled them to 
aocomplish, wholly irrespective of what was doing or had been 
done by any other people in any other part of the world. All 
that it is necessary to assume in this case is, that a dead-revering 
ancestral-worshipping pcujde wished to do honour to the departed, 
as they knew or heai-d was done by other races of their family of 
mankind elsewliere, and that they did it in the host mjinner the 
state of the arts among them admitte<l of — rudely, if they were 
in a low state of civilization, and more perfectly if they had 
fuivanced beyond that stage in which nuh- forms <"Ould be 

It is much more diflicult to trace the orimu of the avenues 



Chap. it. 

which are not attached to circles, and do not lead to any important 
monuments. Nothing that is buried at all resembles them in 
furni, and no erections iii the corresponding microlithic style, 
either in the Mediterruucau countries or in India, aflbrd any 
hints which would enable us to suggest their purpose. We 
are thus left to guess at their uses solely from the evidence 
which can be gathered from their own form and position, and 
from such traditions as may exist ; and these, it seeina, have not 
hitherto been deemed sufiicient to establish even a plausible 
hypothesis capable of explaining their intention. 

Take, for instance, such an example as the parallel lines of 
stonen near Merivttlo Bridge on Dartmoor, They certainly do 
not form a temple in any sense in whiuli that word is under- 
stood by any other people or in any age with which we are 
aci|Utiinted. They are not procession puths, inasmudi as Itoth 
ends are blocked up ; and, though it is trne the sides are all doors, 
we cannot conceive any procession moving along their narrow 
gangway, hardly three feet iu width. The stones that compose' 
the sides are only two and three feet high ; so that, even 
if placed side by side, they wouUl not form a barrier, and, 
being three to six feet apart, they are useless except to form 
an "alignment," Tliero is mi place for an image, no sanctuary 
or cell ; nothing, iu fact, tliat cmi be connected with any religiuuaj 

If the inhabitants of the place had really wanted a temple, 
in any sense in which we understand the term, there is a msigoi- 
ilcent tor, a few hundred yards ofl' to the northwanl, vvhere Nature 
has disposed some magnificcut granite blocks su as to form niches 
such as liumim hands could with difficulty imittite. All that waa. 
wanted was to move the Bmaller blocks, lying loose in front of it, 
a few yards to the right or left, and dispose them in a semi-circle 
or rectangular form, and they would have one of the most 
splendid temples in England in which to worship the ima'^e*: 
which Cfpsar tells us thoy possessed.' They, however, did nothing 
of the kind. They went to a bare piece of moorland, where there 

' Dcum innxiine Morcimuiu cnlunt. Ilnjn* buut pluriuui simuLicra. 
vi, Iii. 

>Bcll, Gai; 

Chap. II. 



were no stones, and brought those we find there, and arranged 
them as shown on the plan ; and for what purpose ? 






















• • * 







.f .! 
i ./ I 

•. a K 
. 1 = 



= L'Bc 

M 0. 



i? ••' 

•I// [ 

u o 

oe e 

« a 

The only answer to the question that occurs to me is that these 
stones are intended to represent an army, or two armies, drawn 
up in battle array ; most probably the former, as we can hardly 



Chap, n. 

understand the victorious army representing the defeated as so 
nearly equal to themselves. Bnt if we consider them as the first 
nnd second lino, draAvn uji to defend the village in their rear — 
which 18 an extensive settlement — the whole seems clear and 
intelligible. The circle in front would then represent the grave 
of a chief; the long stone, 40 yards in front, the grave of another 
of the " menu " people ; and the circlea and cromlech in front of 
the first line the burying-places of those who fell there. 

There is another series of avennea ut Cas Tor, on the western 
edge of Dartmoor,^ some 600 yards in length, which is quite as 
like a battle array as this, but more complex and varied in plan. 
It bends roimd the brow of the hill, so that neither of the ends 
can be seen from the other, or, indeed, from the centre ; and it is 
as unlike a temple or anything premeditated architecturally as this 
one at Merivale Bridge. There are several others on Dartmoor, 
uU of the sumo character, and not one from which it seems possible 
to extract a religious idea. 

When speaking of the great groups of stones in England an*! 
France, we shall frequently have to return to this idea, though 
then basing it on tTuditioiial and other groi.;jds; but, meanwhile, 
what is there to be said against it? It is perhaps not too much to 
say that in all ages and in all countries soldiera have been more 
numerous than priests, and men have been prouder of their prowess 
in war than of their proficiency in faith. They have spent more 
money for warlike puqwses than ever they devoted to the service 
of religion, and their pceans in honour of their heroes have been 
louder than their hymns iti praise of their gods. Yet how was 
a rude, illiterate people, who could neither read nor write, to 
hand down to posterity a record of its victories ? A mound, such 
as was ere(?ted at Marathon or ut Waterloo, is at best a dumb 
witness. It may be a sepulchre, as Silbury Hill wiis supposed to 
be ; it may be the foundation of a caer, or fort, as many of those 
in England certainly were ; it may be anything, in short. But a 
savage might very well argue : " When any one sees how and 
where our men were drawn up when we slaughtered our enemies. 

' Sir Ganinor WilkinBun in 'Jniimul, AreliMologteal Awxiatirm,' xvi. )i. il'2. 
|il. fi fftr ("iis Tnr, (inil jil. 7 fnr Mt-rivnlc Bridge. 

chai'. ir. 



can he be so stupid as not to perceive tLat here we stood anil 
fought and conquered, and there our enemies were shvin or ran?" 
We, unfortunately, have lost the clue that would tell ua who 
"we" and "they" were in the instance of the Dartmoor stones 
at least; but uncultivateil men do not take so mean a view of 
their own importance as to fancy tliis possible. 

Tliis theory has at least the merit of accounting for all the 
facta at present known, and of Ijeing iit variance with none, which 
is more than can Ije said for any other that has hitherto been 
proposed. Till, therefore, something better is brought forward, 
it must be allowed to stand at least as a basis to reason upon, 
in order to explain the monuments we have to describe in the 
foJlowing pages. 


The Menhirs, or tall stones,^ form the last of the classes into 
which we have thought it necessary fur the present, at least, to 
divide the remains of whioli we are now treating. TLey occur 
ID all the megalitliic districts, but fi-om their very singleness 
and simplicity, it is almost more diAicult to ascertain their 
purpose than it is that of any more complicated monuments ; 
nor do the analogies from the cognate microlithic styles help 
us much. The stones mentioned iu the early books of tlje Old 
Testament, though often pressed into the service, were all too 
small to bear any resemblance to those we are now concerned 
witli. Neither Greece nor Etruria help as in tho matter, and 
though it is true that the Buddhists in India, from Asoka's time 
downward, were iu the habit of setting up Lats or Stambas, 
it seems with them to have been always, or nearly so, for tho 
purpose of bearing inscriptions, which is certainly not a distin- 
guishing characteristic of our Menhirs. It ia true that we have in 
Scotland two stones. The Cat stone near Edinburgh, bearing the 
name of Vetta, the grandson of Heugist (who probably was slain 
in battle there),'' and the Newton stouo in Grarioch, which is still 

' From Mficn. as he-fnro, etone, and /nV— liigh. Miuiir is suppost'l t" ^"O "'e 
won). U cnnnot, i»t lnu>t, he tnwud to nny root in any ICnstcrn lwigu*go. 
I of the Society of AntiqiinnVs of Pcotlnml, v 1 1 ;> - f i 



Chap. 11. 

unread. We have also one in France near Brest,* equally illegible, 
and no doubt others exist. Perhaps these may be considered as 
early lispiugs of an infant, which certainly are the preludes of 
perfect spcecli, and only to be found where that power of words 
must afterwards exist. Here the analogy is, to say the least of it, 

There also are, especially in Ireland, but also in Wales and in 
Scotland, a great number of stones with Ogliam inscriptions. So 
far as these have been made out they seem to be mere headstones 
of graves, intimating that A, tlie sou of B, lies buried tliere. A 
custom, it need hardly be observed, that continues to the present 
day in every cemetery in the land. The fact seems to be that so 
soon as the use of stone was suggested and men were sufficiently 
aJvauced to be able to engrave Oghams, it was at once perceived 
that a stone pillar with an inscription upon it was not only a 
more durable but a more intelligent and intelligible record of 
a man's life or death than a simple mound of " undistinguishable 
earth." It in consequence rapidly superseded tlie barrow, and 
lias continued iu use to the present time, and been adopted by 
botli Christians and Mahomedans, by all, in faet, who bury, as 
contradistinguished from those who burn their dead. 

In Scotland the story of the stones is slightly different. A great 
many of these are no doubt cat stones or battle memorials, but as 
they have not even Ogham inscriptions, they tell no tale. It is 
doubtful, indeed, if an Ogham inscription could describe a battle, 
or anvthiug more complex than a genealogy, and still more so 
if it did wliether we could read it. But without it how can we 
say what they are? If, for instance, the battle of Largs had 
not been fought in historic tinies, how could we tell that the 
tall stone that now marks the spot was erected in the thirteenth 
centur)'? Or how, indeed, can wo feel sure of the history of 
any one? By degrees, however, in Scotland they faded into 
those wonderful sculptured stones which form so marked and so 
|)eculiar a feature of Pictland. Whutlier we shall ever get a 
key to the hieroglyphics with whieh these stones are covered is 
by no means clear, but even if we do they probably will not 

' F^clnin^•^ll(^, 'Pinigti'To,' pi. iv. [>, 248. 



tell as much. They certainly contaiD neither names nor dates, 
but even now their succession can be made out witli tolerable 
distinctness. The probability seems to be that the llgures on 
them are tribal marks or symbols of rank, aurl, as such, would 
convey very little information if capable of being read. 

It is easy to trace the perfectly pLiin obelisk being dereloped 
into such as tbe Newton stones, which have only one or two 
Pagan symbols, but are certainly subsequent to the Christian era. 
From these we advance to those on the back of which the 
Christian cross timidly appears, and which certainly date after 
St. Columba's time (a.d. 563), and from that again to the erection 
of Sweno's stone, near Forres, in the first years of the eleventh 
century, where the cross occupies the whole of the rear, and an 
elaborate bas-relief supersedes the riide sjTnbols in the front. 

In Ireland the rude stones do not apjiear to have goue through 
the "symbol stage," but early to have ripened into the sculp- 
tured cross, for it was not from a timidly engraved cross aa in 
Scothmd that thoy took their origin. The Irish crosses at once 
boldly adopted the cross-arms, surrounded by a glory, with the 
other characteristics of that beautiful and original class of 
Christian monuments. 

In France the menhir was early adojited by the Christians ; so 
rly that it has generally been assumed that those examples 
which we see surmounted by a cross were pagan monuments, on 
which at some subsequent time Christians have added a cross. 
This, however, certainly does not appear to have been always 
tbe case. In such a cross, for instance, as that at Lochcrist, the 
menhir and the cross ai-e one, and made for one another, 
and similar examples occur at Cape St. Matthicu, at Daoulaa, and 
in other places in Brittany.' In France the menhir, after being 
adopted by the Christians, does not seem to have passed throtigh 
the sculptured stoge* common to crosses in Scotland and Ireland, 
but to have bloomed at once into the 



* All these, and many others, ftre 
tn hr found illu8tmte<l in Tnylnr nnil 
Noillcr'a ' Vojage I'iltorestjuc dans I'lin- 
ricniir Brt:tagne ;' but a» tlic ^thiln in thnt 
«T7rk arc ni>l uuiiiL^KiI Uicjr cannot be 

referrc*! to. 

' I know only nno in»tanc«" of sculp- 
tured utfinf in Fmnce ; it rjccnrs near tlio 
Ohnpcllc St. Mnrgucrite in Brittony. 



Chap. II. 


Loclirrtot Uctthtr. 

Brittany. Here the cross stands out as a tall tree, and the 
figures are grouped round its base, but how early this form 

was adopted we have no means of 

In Denmark the modem history j 
of the Bauta stones, as the grave 
or battle stones are there called, is 
somewhat different. They early re- 
ceived a liunic as the Irish received 
an Ogham inscription, but Denmark 
was converted at so late an age to 
Christiuutty {the eleventh century) 
that her menhirs never passed 
through the early Christian stage, 
but from I'agun monuments sunk at 
once into modern gravestones, with prosaie records of the birth 
and death of tlie dead man whose memory they were erected to 

In all these instances we can trace back the history of the 
menhirs from historic Christian times to nou-liistoric regions when 
these rude stone pillars, with or without still ruder inscriptions, 
were gradually superseding the earthen tumuli as a record of 
the dead. It is as yet uncertain whether we can follow back 
their history with anything like certainty beyond the Christian era. 
This, however, is just the task to which antiquaries should address 
themselves. Instead of reasoning as hitherto from the unknown to 
the known, it would be infinitely more philosophical to rcHSou 
from the known backwjirds. lly proceeding in this manner every 
step we make is a {tositive gain, and eventually m«y lead us to 
write with certainty about things that now seem enveloj»ed in mist 
and obscurity. 

Chap. III. 




If there existed iiny acknowledged facta or accepted datji with 
regard to the megah'thic remains we are now treating of, the logical 
method of following out the subjeot would he to describe first 
tlieir geographical distribuLiou, and tlion tiioir uses and dates. 
While, however, everything concerning them is considered as 
uncertain — in fact, as unknown, such a mode of treatment, though 
satisfactory to believers, would fail to cari-y conviction to Iho 
minds of those who doubt. It uppearM, therefore, tluit under the 
circunwtances a pnsferable mode will be to take three or lour 
of the principal and best known British groups, and to subject 
them to a tolerably exhaustive examination. If it is possible to 
dispel the errors that iiavo grown up around them, and to fix 
their uses and dates on anything like a reasonable basis, the rest 
will l»e easy ; but so long as men believe in Drui^Is or Dragons, 
or evuu think it necessary to relegate these monuinenta to pre- 
historic antiquity, it is useless to reason regarding them. By tlie 
procesa it is proposed to follow, it is hoped at least to be able 
to dispel these mists. Others must jtnlgi' wliothcr tlie landscape 
their disiKirsion will reveal is eitlier real, or pleasing to con- 

The first monument we propose selecting for examination is 
Avebury, as the largest, and in some res{>ect3 the most important 
of the class in this country. Stouehenge might at first sight seem 
lo have equal claims to precedence, but it is exceptional. It is 
the ouIy hewn stone monument we possess, the only one where 
trilithous are found with horizontal architraves, and where the 
outer circle also possesses these imposts. It is, in fact, tbe 
megalithic monument which exhibits the most civilized forms, 
and to prove its age and use would not necessarily prove those 
of any rude stone monument found elsewhere. Avebury, on the 
eunirurv, though larger than the others, is constructed on \fve- 



CliAf. III. 

cisely the same principle. It has the euchring vallum, with its 
ditch inside, like Arborlow, Mnrden, Arthur's roxtnd table, at 
Penrith, and others we shall meet with further on. while ita 
circle and avenues are identicAl, as far as we can judge, with 
numerous examples found elsewhere. 

Before, however, proceeding to reason about Avebury, the first 
ix)int is to ascertain what the group really consists of, which is 
a much more diflicult task than Mould at first sight appear. 
Stukeley has introduced so many of his own fancies into his 
description of the place, and they have been bo implicitly followed 
by all who have since written on the subject, that it is now no 
easy task to got back to the original form. 

The principal monument at Avebury consists of a vallum of 
earth nearl}', but not qnite, circular in form, with an average 


■.^'^letBft.^.^ H^ 




5^;Pw .. 


a. ^^ilbuI>- UilL b. Wadra Ulll. 

diamotor of about 1200 feet. Close on the edge of its internal 
ditch stood a circle apparently originally consisting of about 100 
stones, with a distance consequently of about 33 feet from centre 
to centre. Inside this were two other double circles, placed not 
in the axis of the great one, but on its north-eastern side. The 
more northern one was apparently 350 feet in diameter, the other 
325 feet.' In the centre of the northern one stood what is her 
called a cove, apparently consisting of three upright stones 
supporting a capstone — a dolmen, in fact, such as we shall 

' Tbcec particulAK ore laken froin a careful survey mode by Bir K. Colt IIomtc, iu 
1812, aud publishtd in hU ' Aocient WillH,' vol. it. pi. xiii. p. 70 rt t«qq. 

CuAr. ITT. 





ff<K|aentIy meet with in the foliowing pages. In the southern 
circle there was only one stone obelisk or menhir. These facts 
we gather from tstnUeley and 
Colt Hoare, for all is now so 
completely mined and destroyed, 
that without their description 
no one could now make even an 
approximate plan of the place. 
The stones that comprise these 
inntT as well as the outer circle 
are all the native Sursens, wliich 
occur everywhere on these downs. 
In some places, such as Clatford 
Bottom, about a mile from Ave- 
bury, they lie still in numbers 
sufficient to erect a dozen Ave- 
burys, and many are still to be 
seen in the Bottoms to the south- 
ward, and indeed in every place 
where they have not been utilized 
by modem civilization. No mark 
of a chiitel is to be seen on any of 
the stones now standing liere. For 
their effect they depend wholly 
on their mass, and that is so great 
as to produce an impression of 
power and grandeur which few 
of the more elaborate works of 
men's hands can rival. 

From the outer vallum a stone 
avenue extended in a perfectly 
straight line for about 1430 yards, 
in a south-easterly direction. The 
centre was apparently drawn from 
the centre of the great 1200 feet 
circle, not from those of the smaller 
ones. This is calle^l the Kenuet 
Avenue, from its jxiinting towards the village of that name. 


' < 

i d 

Plan of ATcbiirj' Circle and Kennet Avenoe. 
fram Sir K. Colt Uoare. 

I am 



Cbap. III. 

extremely Bcepticai witb regard to tlie existence of another, called 
the Beckbampton Avenue, on which Dr. Stakeley lays bo much 
stress. Aubrey did not see it, though he sjiw the Long Stone Cove, 
the " Devil's Quoits," as he called thora ; and Stukeley is obliged to 
tidmit that in Ivis day not one stone was standing.^ It seems that 
here, as, indeed, everywhere over this country, a number of Sarsen 
stones were lying about, and his fertile imagination mannfactured 
them into the body of a gnake. None, however, are shown in Sir R. 
Colt Hoare's survey, and none exist now ; and beyoml the Cove 
even Stukeley admits that lip drew the serpent's tail only becaiwe 
a serpent must have a termination of tliat sort. There were no 
stones to mark its form any njorc then tliau now. The first objec- 
tion that appears against admitting tlie existence of the very 
hypothetical avetiue is, that uo curved avenue of any sort is known 
to exist anywhere, or atlaeliMl to niiy monuments. All the curves 
of the Keiinet avenue are the Doctor's own, introduced by him to 
connect the straight-lined avenues which were drawn from the 
circle at Avebury, and that on Hakpen Hill. Tliere are none at 
Stanton Drew, or other places where ho audaciously drew them. 
Near the churcli there are, or were, two stones placed in the open- 
ing like that called the Friar's Heel, and the prostrate stone at 
Stouehenge, but these are all that probably ever existed of the 
Beckhampton Avenue. The question is not, however, important. 
As there were two circles inside the Avebury vallum, there may 
have been two avenues. All that is h<'re contended for ia, that 
there is no proof of the existencr? of the second. A dolmen, called 
the Long Stone Cove, existed near where Stukeley draws ita 
sinuous line, but there is nothing to show that it ever formed any 
part of Buch an alignment ; and around it there were some standing 
stones, or rather, even in Stukcley's time, ntoues wliich apparently 
had stood, but there is nothing to show wliether forming part of a 
circle, or as detached menbirs, or as parts of an avenue. 

The second member of the Avebury group is the double circle, 
or rather double oval, on Hakpen hill — Haca's Pen ; ' this was. 

' ' Stoni-hwi;?e nud Avebur}-,' p. 'M. 

- Hiu-a, or Hnco, otvonling to Kcmblc, 
wus wjinr, niythiriil jicmoii with a vcrj" 
Punish naiiuj which is fuuuj in Ilanip- 

Hhim aiul UerltMhlrc, oa >vell os bcro. 
Pi'n Hcciiiti til iiiCRn increly cndoeiire, •• 
it does nnw in English. See Kemblr. in 
' Jouniul Arch. Intit.' xiv. p. 134. 

Chap. ril. 



lu'cording to 8tukeJey, 138 feet by 155 feet, and bad an avenue 
45 feet wide, as compared with 51 feet which Sir R. C. Hoare 
gives for those of the Kennct nvenue of Avebury. The avenue 
is supposed to have extended in a perfectly straight line for above 
a quarter of a mile, pointing directly towards Silbury Hill, which 
is about one mile and a quarter distant. 

Tbe third member of the group is the famous Silbury Hill, 
about a mile distant due south from Avebury. Thut these two 
last named are of the same age, and part of one design, seems 
scarcely open to doubt; but it is quite an open question l^hethe^ 
Haeos Pen belongs either to the same age or tlio same design. 
Its stones were very much smaller, its form different, and its 
avenue pointing towards Silbury looks as if that monument 
existed, and may have long existed before it was built; but of 
this hereafter. 

Besides these three there are numerous barrows, both long and 
round, in the neighbourhood, and British forts and villages ; but 
these we propose to pass over at present, confining our attention 
in the tirst instance to the three monuments above enumerated. 

The question that arises on looking at such a structure 
as Avebury, is whether it is a temple at all. It has already 
been attempted in the preceding pages to shuw whiit the temples 
of Britain were in the ages immediately succeeding the Boman 
occupation ; but even if it is conceded that they were small 
basilicas, it will be contended that this is no answer to the ques- 
titin. If Avebury, it will be said, is a temple, it Ijelongcd to 
a raysterious, mythical, prehistoric people capable of executing 
such wonderful works before they came in contact with the 
RomaBS, but who, strange to say, were incapable of doing anything 
after the civilizing touch of that great people had left them 
feebler, and more ignorant than ihey were before ! 

If this question, What is Avebury? is addresstd to one — brought 
up in the Druidical faith as most Englishmen have been — he at 
once answers. It is a temj^le of the Druids. If pressed and re- 
minded of the groves and the oaks these sectaries delightt-d in, 
he «ill perhaps admit that no soil is so little likely to grow 
oaks us the chalk downs of Wiltshire, and thut there is no proof 
that any ciaks ever grew in the neighbourhood. But this is not 



Chap. 111. 

a complete answer, for it may lie contended tliat ("or eoine reason 
we cannot comprehend, the Druids may have dispensed with trees 
on this occasion. The renl difficulty is, as liefore mentionr d, that 
no stonos or stono structures arc ever mentioned in connection 
with Diuid^j. 

If an educated iiiiiii whose mind is free from jtrejmlice or pre- 
conceived ideas is askt^l the question, he runs o\er in liis own niiml 
what lie knows of the temples of other peojiles' — Egypt, Assyria, 
Greece, Rome, in the ancient or the middle ages, Tliey produced 
nothing of the port-. Persia, India, China, or the countries in the 
Eiistern seas are all equally unsn^gestivo ; nor will Mexico or Peni 
Iielp him. The first conclusion, therefore, that he inevitaldy 
arrives at is, if these were the temples of the Britons, they must 
iiidt^ed have been a "Peculiar people," unlike any other race that 
lived at any time in any piirt of the world. 

If they were temples, to what god or gods were they dedicated? 
It could hardly have been Mercury, or Apollo, or Mars, Jove, 
or UliiirTva, mentioned hy Ca?sar,' us tho gods worshipped by the 
Driiids — and though perhaps these were only the nearest synonyms 
of liomjui gods applied in Celtic divinities, still there must have 
been sticli resemhlances ns to have justified these apixdlations. 
We know of what form the teinpli*s of thrse goils were, and cer- 
tainly they were not built after the fashion of the circles at Avebiiry. 
Some antiquaries have timidly suggested a dedication to tho 8un. 
But there is certainly no ptissage in any author, classical t>r 
media'Viil, which would lead ns to suppose tliat our forefathers 
were addicted to the wurdhip of a deity so unlikely to be a 
favourite in sucli a climate as ours. But again, what is a sun 
temple? Does one exist anywhere ? Had the ^\'iltshire shepherds 
attempted it, they prolmhly would have found the Siime difllcully 
that beset the fire-w^lr^hiJ^ping Persians of old. It i.s not eiisy to 
get the sun into a temple fashioned by human hands, and his rays 
are far more available on high places or on the sea-shore than 
inside walls or enclosures of any sort. 

Even putting aside tho question to what god it was dedicated, 
what kind of worship could be performed in such a place? It 

' ' BeU. C*«U.' Ti. 17. 



could not be for speaking in. Onr Inrgest cathi^-drals are GOO 
feet long, and no luftH would ntt«Mii]tt iVoin iho altar of the 
lady chapel to adtlress u crowd beyond ibe uest door; etill less 
would he io the open air attempt to address a crowd in a circle 
1200 feet in diameter, and where from the nature of the arrnngo- 
ments one hulf of the aufiiem-e must be behind hira. Still less 
is it fitted for seeing. The Hoor of the area is peri'eetly flat, and 
though peo[ le talk loosely of the crowd that could stand on the 
mllniu, or on the berm, or narrow ledge between the internal 
ditch and the foot of the rampart, they forget >hat only one 
row of persons could stand on a sliarp- pointed mound, and that 
the berra is on the fame level as the rest of the floor, and is 
the lust phv.*e any one would choose, ns 100 great stones were put 
up in I'ront of it as if especially designed to obstruct the view. 
This was, in fact, tlie case witli all the stones. Astsuming the 
ceremony or action to take place in the centre of either of the two 
inner circles, the double row of stones whifh surround tliem is so 
placed as to ob;<truct tlie view in every direction to (lie uttiiost 
possible extent. It may be suggested tliat the priest might climb 
on to the cap-stone of tlie cove, in the nottliern circle, and there 
per.'bmi his sarrilice in sight of the assendihd nmltituile. It 
wuuld be dinicult to conceive any place so ill suiloJ for fhe 
pnrjiuse ; and even then, how would he manage on the point of 
the obelisk in the c« nlre of the soutliern circle ? No place, in fact, 
can be so ill ad«pte<l for either seeing or hearing as Avebury; 
and tliose who erected it woidd have been below the capacity of 
ordinary idiots if tliey designed it for either purpose. Besides 
tliis, it has none of the oi-dinary adjuncts of a temple. There is no 
sauctuary, no altar, no ntk, no procession path, no priests* house, 
nothing that is foimd more or less prominently Inrminga part of 
e\-erj' temple in every part of the world. 

Why so bypff'tliral? Are wo to underst^xnd that the climate of 
the Wiltshire ilowns is so perfect ond cqnuUc thut men c»in afford 
to dis[>ense with roofe or the ordinary protection against weather ? 
or are we to assume that the men who could move these masses of 
stone and raise these mounds were such utter savages that they 
cuuld not erect an enclosed building of any sort ? 

Egypt poaseAses the finest and most eqntible climate in the 

F 2 




Chap. III. 

world ; yet all ber temples are roofetl in a more careful manner 
and more stately than otir mediaeval eatliedrals, and so are all 
those of India and the Eastern climes where shelter is far less 
wanted tlian here. In all tliese countries and climes the temples 
of the gods are tlie dwellings or halls of men, enlarged and 
improved. What they did well for themselves, they did heJter 
for their deities. Are men therefore to assume that the Wiltshire 
shei>herd slept on the enow in winter, with no other protection 
than a circle of widely spaced stones, and had no idea of a roof ? 
Yet, if be were not hardened hy some such process, it is difficult 
to see why he should bnild a temple so exposed to the inclemency 
of the weather that no ceremony could be properly performed in 
it for one half of the days of the year. 

Another objection to the temple theory that would strike most 
people, if they woiiM think about it, is the enormous size of 
Avebury. Its area is at least five times that of St^ Peter's at 
Kome ; 250,000 people couhl easily be seatetl within its vallum, 
ftud half a niillioti could stand, Jleii generally try to adai)t the 
size of their buiUliiigs to the amount of accommodation required. 
But where should such a multitude as this couie from ? How 
could they bo fed ? How could they be lodged ? There is no 
reason to suppose that in any ancient time before the introduction 
of agriculture, the pastoral jjopulation on these downs could ever 
have been greater than, or so great ji.*, that which now exists there. 
When Doomsday Book was compiled, there were only two hides of 
arable land in the manor, and they seem to have belonged to the 
church. A fair inference from which seems to be that, bnt for 
the superior knowledge and influence of the priesthood, the iu- 
habitaTvts of these downs might, in the eleventh century-, have 
remained in the same state of pj^storal barbarity in which there is 
every reason to believe they were sunk in pagan times. How a few 
shepherds, sparsely scattered over these plains, could have erected 
or have required such a temple aa this, is the mystery that requires 
to be explained. A very small parish church now suflices for 
their spiritual wants ; and if 10,000 pilgrims, even at the pn^sent 
day, when agriculture has bet-n extended to every available patch 
of ground, visited the place for a week, many of them would be 
starving Ivefore it was over. 

Chap. IU. 



It would be easy to adduce fifty other arguments of this sort. 

Many more must indeed occur to any oue who will give himself 

the trouble to think of the matter ; but to those who are accus- 
^^ tomed to such investigations the two most convincing probably 
H are, first, that there is no evidence whatever of progress in the 

design of Avebury. It was built and finished as first designed. 

The 8e<'ond is, that in it there is a total absence of ornament. 
I In India, we have temples as big as Avi-biiry ; but their history 
H 18 written on their faces. The first step in the process is generally 
■ that a small shrine, with a narrow enclosure and small gateway, 

becomes from some cause or other, sacred or rich, and a second 

enclosure is added to contain halls for the reception of pilgrims or 
^p the ceremonial display on festal occasions. But no god in that 

pantheon can live alone. New shrines are added for other deities, 

I with new halls, nuw residences for priests, and more accommo- 
dation for all tlie thousand and one requisites of a great idol 
establishment. This requires a third ur fourth new enclosure, up 
even to a seventh, as at Seringham. iJut in sdl this there is pro- 
gress: 200 or 300 years are required, and each century — sometimes 
each deciide — leaves its easily recognised mark as the work pro- 
gresses. In like manner, the great temple at Karnac, though 
covering only one-third the area of Avebury, took the Egyptians 
three centuries to build, and every step of its progress can be 
easily traced. The works of the earlier Thotmes difler essentially 
from those of Manepthah and Rnmeses, and theirs again from 
those of Seshonk; and th(?se again difler essentially from the little 

I shrine of Osortasen, which was the germ uf the whole. 
So it was with all our cathedrals. The small Saxon church was 
superseded by the Noruum nave with a small apsidal choir. This 
was enlarged into the Early English prtsbjitery, and beyond this 
grew the lady chapel, and as the iU-buill Norman work decayed, 
it was replaced by Tudor constructions. Jiut there is nothing of 
the sort at Avebury. Had the temple been built or begun by the 
sparse iidiabitauts of these downs, we shoidd have seen something 
to show where the work began. They must have brought one 
stone one year and another the next, and incvitiibly they would 
have employetl their leisure hours, like the inhabitants of Easter 
l8lan<l, in cawing these stouta titlicr with oniumeuta or symbols, 



Chap. 111. 

or fasLioiiing tlieiu into idols. Tiiere is absolutt'ly no instance 
ill tb© whole world where some evidence of care and of a desire 
after Lunitnient of some sort is not tii be traeod in the totniile-s 
of the people. Nothing, however, of the sort oceura here. 
Indeed, if there is one thing more evident than another about 
Avebury, it is that, as it was begun, so it was ended. There is no 
hesitation, no sign of change: the s)ime men, to till appearance, 
who traced its plan saw its completion ; and as they designed 
it, 80 they left it. There is no sign of any human hand having 
touched it from that hour henceforward till the sordid greed 
of modem farmers set to work to destroy it, to build with 
its materials the alehouse and the village which now occupies a 
small portion of the enclosure. 

So too with regard to ornament. This structure, we may fairly 
assume, if a temple, must have been in use for some centuries ; 
but during that time, or any shorter tirtie that may be assumed, 
no man hud the skill or the inclination to adorn the greatest temple 
of his native laud either with carving or emblems or ornament of 
any kind. The men who could conceive tlic great flesign — so great 
and noble — could do Jiothing more. Their hands drooped in listless 
idleness by their sides, and they were incapable of further exertion ! 
Such a state of affairs, if not impossible, is certainly unparalleled. 
No sucli example exists anywhere else with reference to any 
temple, so far as wo know, in any part of the world. Tombs do 
show these jw^culiarities at times, temples never. 

If these reasons are sulTtcieut to prove that Avebury whs not a' 
temple, there are more than can be required, to sliow that it was 
not a place of meeting of ancient Britons. Whatever may be 
thought of thf? extent of prehistoric assemblies, it will Imrdly bo 
contended that it was necessary to provide accommodation for the 
250,(XM> men wLo could be seated in the great circle. Even 
supposing it were intended only to accommodate 12,000 or 13,000 
lords and as many commons in the two subordinate lings, they 
would hardly have arranged an inner circle of great stones in tho 
middle of each jissembly, or placed a sjiiked obelisk for a woolsack 
iu the one or a tall dolmen under or behind the Speaker's chair iu 
the other. Nothing in fact could bo «'onceived .so utterly unsuited 
lirr the purpose as these rings, and unless these primeval men 

ClIAl'. III. 



were very differently constituted from ourselves, any assembly 
of elder-men who were likely to meet at Avebury would Iiiive pre- 
ferred a room however rude, and of ouo-hundredtb part of tbo 
extent, for their deliberations to the unsheltered and unsuitable 
magnificence of the Big Stones, Of course, among all rude people, 
and often also among those more civilized, open-air assemblies of 
the people will take place ; but then these «ill always be near the 
great centres of population. Men will go into the desert for reli- 
gious purposes, but they prefer talking politics nearer home. In 
some communities a Campus IMartius or a Thing tield may bo set 
apart for the purpose ; but the first requisite of such a place of 
assembly is that it shall be ojven and free from encumbrance of 
anv sort A Mote hill too, like the terraced Tvnwald Mount in 
the Isle of Man, is an intelligible arrangement, not for a delibera- 
tive assembly, but as a rostrum from which to proclaim law. We 
can also understand why Sliire courts should be held on barrows, 
as seems often to have been the case. For here the judge occupied 
a fUgnified position on the summit. His assessors stood behind him, 
and the pleaders and people in front. Instances are also known in 
the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries where local courts were sum- 
moned to meet at the "standing stones," or in circles, in Scotland 
at least ;' but in all these instances it was apparently to settle 
territorial disputes on the spot, and the atones or mounds were 
merely indicated as well-known marks and, consequently, convenient 
trysting-places. Even if this were not so, it would not be at all 
to be wondered at that in the miildle ages sepulchral circles or 
mounds were habitually used as meeting-places. They were then 
old enough to be venerable ; and their antiquity must have con- 
ferred on them a dignity suituble to the purpose, whatever their 
original destination may have been. But all this is very ditTerent 
firom erecting as a place of assembly so huge and inconvenient 

place as Avebury is, and always must have been. 

It seems needless to follow this line of argument further, for unless 
it oin be shown that the jK'ople who erected Avebury were so diHer- 
ently constituted from oui-selvea that no reasoning derived from our 
experience can be applied to them, the answer seems inevitable. 

' * tSculptarod Stoaes ol Scotland.' ii. t>. xii, 



Chat. III. 

That no such Temple, nor has any such meeting-place, been 
built or attempted by any set of men in any part of the world. 
But is there any reason for supposing thut the inhabitants of these 
downs differed so esseutiaUy from ourselves? Dr. Tliurnam 
has examined with care some hundreds of akulla gathered from 
the grave-mounds in this iieiglibourhood, and has published 
decades on decades of them.' Yet the most learned eniniologiats 
cannot detect — except perhaps in degree — any difference that 
would lead us to aiippoae that these ancient men were not actuated 
by the same motive* and governed by the same moral intluences aa 
ourselves. If tliis is so, Avebury certainly was not erected either 
as a temple or a place of assembly, in any sense of the word which 
wo can understand, and those who insist that it was either nre bound 
to explain wliat the motives or objects could have been which 
induced the inhabitants of the Wiltshire downs to act in a manner 
60 entirely opposed to all we know of the actions or feelings of all 
other nations in all other parts of the world. 

I^ therefore, Avebury was neither a temple nor a place of 
assembly, what was it ? The answer does not seem far to seek. It 
must have been a burying-pla<'e, but still not a cemetery in the 
ordiuary sense of the term. The inliabitants of these downs could 
never have required a bigger and more magnificent buryiug-plate 
than any other community in Great Britain, and must always 
liuve been quite unequal to raise such a monument. But what is 
more important than this, a cemetery implies succession in time 
and gradations in rank, and this is exactly what is most conspi- 
cuously wanting at Avebury. It may be the monument of one 
king or two kings, but it is not a collection of the monuments 
of individuals of vaiious classes in lite, or of a series of indi- 
viduals of the same rank, erected at different intervals of 
time. As before remarked, it is in one design — " totus teres 
atque rotuudus," erected witli no hesilatiou and no shadow of 

If, however, we assume that Avebury was the burying-place of 
those who foil in a great battle fought on the spot, every difficulty 

Thiimam, 'Ciania Britaanioa;' Loudon, 1856 U> 1RC5. 




seems at onoe to vanish. It is now admitted that men did bmy in 
stone circles or under dolmens, and beside headstones and within 
eartlien enclosures, and what we find here diflers only in degree 
from what «e fiud elsewhere. It seems just such a monument as 
a rictorious army of say 10,000 men could, with tlieir prisoners, 
erect in a week. The earth is liglit, and could easily l»e thrown up 
into the form of the vallum, and the Sarsen stones lay uU over the 
downs, and all on a higher level than Avebury, which perhaps for 
that very reason is placed on the lowest spot of ground in the neigh- 
bourhood. With a few rollers and ropes, 10,000 men would very 
soon collect all the stones that ever stood there, and stick them up 
on their ends. Tliey probably would have no skilled labour in their 
ranks, and no leisure, if they had, to em{tloy it in ornumentation 
of any sort. Without this, it is jiist such a monument as might 
and would lie raised by an illiterate army wishing to bury with 
hononr those who had fallen in the fight, and having at the same 
time no other means of leaving on the spot a record of their own 

On theoretical grounds, there seems to be no argument that can 
be urged against this view ; and during the ten years that it has 
been constantly before the piiLli<' none have been brought forward 
that deserve notice. It is urged, however, that the e^•id<■nce is 
not complete, and that nothing written serves to confirm this view. 
Those who make the objection forget that one of the first condi- 
tions of the problem is that those who erected such a monument 
should be illiterate. If they could have written to any primeval 
'Times,' they would not have taken such pains to lithogrnph their 
victory on the spot. Uad they been able either to read or 
write, an inscriptitin would have done more than the 200 or 300 
atones of A\ebury; but because they could not write, they raised 
them, and, for that reason also, left us the problem of finding out 
why they did so. 

We are not, however, wholly without evidence on this subject. 
Many years ago Mr. Kerable printed a charter of King Athelstan, 
dated in 939, which, describing the boundaries of the manor of 
Overton, in which Avebury is situated, makes use of the following 
expression: — " Then by Collas barrow, as far as the broad road to 
Uackpen, thence northward up along the Stone row, thence lo the 



CUAP, 111. 

buryinff-jilaces." ' It does not seem to Le a nialtLT of doubt that 
the stone row here meritiotieJ is the Keimet Avenue, nor that the 
buryiug-phices (byrgelsas) arc the Avebiiiy rings; but it may bo 
urgRj thut the Saxou surveyor ilitl not know wluit he was talking 
about; and as, unfortunately, he does uot say who were buried 
there, mid gives no oorroltorative evidence, all wo leurn from thig 
is that tlu-y were so considered in the tcntij century. 

Soinctliiug more tangible was nearly obtaint-d sliortly before 
StuUeley's time, when Lord Stuwell levelled the vallum nrxt the 
eliuirh, where the great barn now stands. The original surface 
of tlie ground wii,s " easily distinguisliablc by a black stratum of 
mould on the chalk. Jlere they found large cjuantities of buck- 
horns, bones, oyster-shells, and wood-cojds. ^\ji ohl man who 
was einjiloved on the work says there was a quantity of a cartload 
of horns, that they were very rotten, and that there were very 
niiuiy burned bones among them,"* Ou the same page, Dr. 
8tiike!ey adds : " Besides some Roman coins accidentally found in 
and about Abury, I was informed tluit a square bit of iron was taken 
up under one of the great stones upon pulling it down." Other 
Koniau coins have, J understiiiiil, been found there since, but there 
is no authentic record of the fact which ain bo quoted. This is to 
be regretted; for the presence, if ascertaine J, of these coins would 
go far to prove that the erectiou of the monument was after their 
date, whatever that may be. 

Unfortunately no scientific man saw these bones, so no one was 
able to say whether they were human or not; but the presumption 
is that they were, for why should burned bones uf animals be placed 
in such a situation ? The answer to this is that the Wiltshire 
Archaxilogicftl Society have made sonio excavations at Avebury, 
and found nothmg. In 1805, they la[ipcd the vallum in various 
places, and dug one trench to its centre, uud, as tliey found 
nothing, concluded that nothing was to be found, liut in a monnd 
4442 feet long, acconling to !Sir K. Colt Iloare, there ranst bo 
many vacant spots, especially if the bodies were burnt'; and such 
negative evidence cannot be considered as conclusive, nor as sulli- 

' • Cotlcx tli|jltniiiitieiis .Kvi Siixonici," v. p. 238, No. 1120, 
' Btiikdcy, 'fcitoiiihvngo oml Ainiry,' i>. 27. 

Chap. III. 



cient to disprove flie evidence acquired in Lord StowellV diggings. 
Stukeley's honesty in recording fhcts of this sort is hardly to be 
suspected, tlioufih the iiifereiicfs ho draws i'vom his facts are 
generally to be received with tho oxtremest ciuition. The Society 
also dug in the centre of the uorlhern circle, wliere the dohnen 
stood, and penotratetl to the original chalk, but found nothing 
except the ruins of the stones which liad h 'cn destroyed by lire, 
and express great disappointment at finding "no human bones 
whatever."' If the bodies were burnt — as we should be led to 
infer from what Lord StawelJ found under the valluin — what they 
probably would have found, bad the "Cove" been complete, would 
liave been a vase or urn with ashes. The barbarians who destroyed 
the stones are scarcely likely to have spared so worthless a piece 
of crockery; and if it were bruken at tlie time, it would be in vain 
a hundred years afterwards to look cither for it or for bones that 
in all probability were never laid there. Nor need better resuMs 
have been expected from their trench, GO feet long. A man must 
know very exactly what lipis looking for, and where to look for it, 
who expects to find an ol>ject like an urn, a foot in diameter, in a 
28-acre field. Judging from the experience obtained at Crichio, 
in Scotland, where a funereal deposit was obtained at the foot of 
every one of a circle of stones that sttKid inside a * like ihr 
internal one at Avebury, it ia thi-re we should expect to find 
the deposit.* That is just where nobody has thought of looldng 
at Avebnry, though nothing would bo easier. There are fifty 
or sixty empty holes, and any one might without dillieulty be 
enlarged, and if there were a <U'posit at the foot of each, it would 
then inevitably bo found. 

To this we shall return ])reseutly. Jlcanwhilo let us see what 
ovidcnec, if any, is to be obtained from the circle on llakpeu 

As Wfore nienlinned, this monument consists of two ovals, 
cording to Dr. Stukeley the outer one was 138 by 155 feet and 

' The (>arlicuInrB nrc lakcii from ft Hist. Socioty," priiitcj at Dcvizea, Imt, 

|iini|iti|i't i-iitillutl ' felxcavntiong ut Ave- ' bo far as I know, nnL yet pul'Iirtlutl. 

Imry, umLr the dircotiiui of the 8«*ri>- , ° ' SrnlptiirM Stcmcij of 8«.-olliiiul.' 

t«r« lit ili<< Wiltfiliiic Aichicol. auJ Nnl. vul. I. intruil. i<. &x. 



Chap. II 



CiKla on Uakpen UiU. from SWuity. 

the inner 45 Ly 51 feet. He does not give the dimensions of the 
stones; but Aubrey calls them from 4 to 5 feet in height, Avliich 

is confirniefl by tlie 
Doctor's engraving; 
^, and, altogether, 
, they do not seem 
J to average one- 
/ quarter the size of 
^^ thnse at Avebury. 
Of the avenue, only 
fuur stones are 
shown in the plan 
woodcut (No. 16), and the same number is shown in the view 
(plate xxi.). In Ixilh instances, the avenue is represented as per- 
fortly straight, and as trending rather to the southward of Silbury 
Ilill.' It extended, according to Aubrey, a quarter of a mile — 
say 440 yards. 

The most furious circumstance, however, connecteil with thia 
circle is that, at the distance of about 80 yards from the outer oval, 
there were found two rows of skeletons, laid side by side, with 
their feet towards the centre of the circles. In a curious letter, 
written by a Dr. Tcxipe, of Oxford, diited 1st December, 1G85, 
addressed to Mr. Aubrey, and published by !^ir R. Colt Hoare,'^ 
it is said: — "I quickly perceived thera to be human." "Next 
day dugg up many bushells, with wliich I made a noble medicine. 
The boucs arc large and nearly rotten, but the teeth extream and 
wonderfully white. About 80 yards from where the bones were 
found, is a temple 40 yanls diameter, with another 15 yards; round 
about bones layd so close that suul toucbeth soul. Their feet 
all round turned towards the temple, 1 foot below the surface of 
tlie ground. At tlio feet of the firet order lay the head of the 
next row, the feet always tending towards the temple." Further 

' A plan of it 'wob {inlilished nbont 
Stukiloy's time by n Jlr. Twining, in a 
pamplJi't, wLicli wan written to prove 
tlint thin group of uiuuuuientd was 
erectwl by Apricila, to represtut a map 
of Eiigiaiid ! A plan occompauius it, 

wliicti flliowB all the nreuucii as strnigbt ; 
but what weigbt o«n poitsibly be at- 
tached to any uviJeuco couiiog from a 
man with mirh a theory as thia ? 
' ' Ancient Wiltshire,' ii. p. 63, 

Chap. llf. 



on Aubrey asserts that a ditch surrounded the temple, wliicli 
Stnkeley denies; but there seems no difficulty in reconciling the 
two statements. The destruction of the monument had com- 
menced before Aubrey's time. For it is impossible to conceive 
bodies lying for even lUOU or 12U0 years in so light a soil, at the 
depth of 1 foot or even 2 feet, exposed to the influence of rain and 
frost, without their being returned to earth. Most probably there 
was a ditch, and where there was a diti'h there must have been a 
mound, and that, if heaped over the bodies, might have protected 
them. The vallnm had disappeared In Aubrey's time ; the ditch 
was filled up before Stukeley's, and stones and all had been 
smoothed over in Sir li. Colt Hoare's ; so that now the site can 
hardly be defined with certainty. A trench, however, cut across it, if 
it can be traced, might lead to some curious revelations, for there 
can be no doubt whatever with regard to the facta stated in Dr. 
Toope's letter. He was a medical man ol' eminence, imd knew 
human bones perfectly, and was too deeply interested in the 
diggings, from which he drew " his noble medicine," and to which 
he frequently returned, to be mistaken in what he stated. 

Meanwhile, however, what interests us more at thi.'^ stage of 
the enquiry are the dififerences as well as the similarities of the 
two monuments. The circles at Hakpen are on a very much 
smaller scale both as to linear dimensions and tlie size of the 
stones than the circles at Avebury ; and the difference between 
burning and burying, which, so far as the evidence goes, seems to 
have prevailed in the two places, is also remarkable. Do they 
belong to two different ages, and, il' so, which is the elder? The 
e?idence of the tumidi is uniform that the inhabitants of this 
island liuri^d before they burnt. But can these bones be so old 

this would force us to admit they were ? So far as the evidence 
. present goes, it seems impossible to carry the burials on Hakpen 
Hill back to the earliest period of prehistoric interments; the 
condition of the bones is sufficient to render such an hypothesis 
untenable. Unless the plioijphate.s and other component adjuncts 
remained in them, they would have been as useless for medicine as 
for manure, and the exposed position in which they lay would have 
reduced these to dust or mud in a very few centuries. From the 
descriptions we have, the iHidies certainly were not in the contracted 


Chap. IUv 

doublcd-iip positiuii iismil in tlio so-chUlm] brouze nfjc, and tberel 
were no traces of tlie crematious appanutly introduced by lbo*j 
llomuns, au<l practised for some time alUT they lel't. All a]ipcar 
bave been liiid out in tlie exleiuletl position afterwards adojiteil nrull 
eoiitinui'd to the [irrsent day. In tkft everything would lead iiaj 
ti> .suppose that Camden was not f>ir wrong in .'jjiying that the«©i 
were the Iwnes of tlie Saxons anil Banes sbu'n at the battle of 
Kennet in a.d. 1006.^ Even then, unless there was a mound over 
tliem, they conld Jinidly have lasted 6U0 years in the state in whieh 
they were IVmud. If we do not adopt this view, but insist that 
flakpen and Aveliury are cnntcmpornry monuments, and part 
of one great jdan, the only hypnihcsis that oecurs to ine that 
will at idl aroount for their peiuliarities is that the victorious 
army bnnit and buried their dead at Avebury, and that the 
dcfi'jiti'd frtrce got permiseion to Lury their dead more modestly 
on Hakpeu II ill. 

Silbury Hill, which foims the third inombor of our group, is 
situated nearly due sunth from Avebuiy, at a distance of 1201) 
yanls from the outside of the ring, of the former, to the foot of 



Sccliua or 8llbui7 HiIL 



iho hill, or, as nearly as may he, one Ronum niilo fiom centre 
to centre. Mr. Kickmnn ' based an argument on the latter fact, 
03 if it proved the jiost-lioman origin of the group; and like 
the many recurring instances of lOU feet and 10 J yards, which 
run through all the megulitliic remains, it may have some value, 
but, as a single instance, it can only be looked u]»on as a co- 

Thi? dimensions of the hill, as ascertained by the Rev. Mr. Smith* 

' Cniudcn, ' Urilnnnin,' 127. 

' ArcluDologia,' xxviii. p. 399 et *fq<j. 

Chap. in. 



of Yatesbury,' ai-e that it is 130 font in Iipiglit, r»r)2 ffH in 
dJAineter, and 1G57 feet in circumference; that the flat (op is 
104 feet or 102 feot across,* accordi'iiii^ to thi^ dirtrtion in which 
it is measured ; ibis lost bein^j another Unman coincidence, as 
the top Las no doubt both snnk and spread. Tiie angle of the 
slope of the eidea is 30 degrees to the horizon. 

In the year 1777 a shaft was sunk from the top of the nirnmd 
to the base, by order of the then Duke of Northumbcrlaml and 
Colonel Drax, but no record has been preserved of what they 
foood, or rather did not find, for had they mode any discovery 
of the least importance, it cGiiainly would have been communi- 
cated to some of the learned ao«jieties of the day. i>i]bsequontly, 
in 184f>, a shaft was driven nearly horizontally from the southern 
face on the level of the original soil to the centre, wiiere it met 
the Duke's shaft ; and subsequently a circuhir gallery was carried 
round the centre, but in vain ; nothing was fomid in these excava- 
tions that would show that the mound had ever been used for 
wpnlehral purpose.s, or that threw any light whatever on ita 
historj' or destination.' 

Judging from the analogies gotherefl from our linowledge of 
the parallel Indian series, we ought not lo 1h? 8»rpri.sed if this 
really were the only rcHult. From the accuunt>< of the Chinese 
travellers who visited India in the filth and seventli centuries, wo 
Icam that about one-half of the topes they saw and described 
were ere<?tf-d to commemorate events, and not to contain relics, or 
simulated tombs. Wherever BudJha or any of his followers 
formed any miracles, or where any event happened of snflicieut 

iportuncc to make it desirable that the memory of the locality 
where it hajipened should be preserved, tliere a Tope was erected. 
To lake an example as Ix-aring more dirfctly than usual on our 
jireseut subject. When Dutthagamini, king of Ceylon (IGl n.c), 

' 'Jniirnal Willeliiro Areliawl. and 
K«t. Ilist Kwinty." vii. p. IWil. 
' Ourii»u»lf oiioa-fti tlicac dimt-nsions 
»lu)'«t i'lcnticul with tliriHe of th« 
a<J ttrprtwl by the Hclg'c-Diilch, to 
artnomlt the pail t'>ey iliii nut tnkc 
the hattle of Waterloo. lis dimon- 
tUtut SM I'M rctt high. .'>4I Ciet in 

dinmulLT, unJ 1(532 foct in circururer- 
ence. The angle of the 8lr>p(> <t( the 
«idi'3 is liiwer, beitig 27 J dogrpt^s, owing 
to the smnlU'r diajuelor nf thv Wnt tnji. 
whii'ii ia only 40 fvct. 

• DoiiglM, "Nciijn Bril.' i>. I<>l- St« 
also Snlir-liiiry volume of the Axchiwilo- 
gical Iiuiilutc, p. 74. 



Chap. III. 

defeated the usurper EUala, and restored the trno faith, "bo 
erected near the capital a dagoba in cammemoration of his victory. 
A fitono pillar marks the ppot where the action commenced, an<l 
anotlier sfono pillar exists there with an inscription to the effect 
that it marks the sput rendered sacred by the death and blood of 
EUala."* The dagoba ia a simple mound of earth, and, so far as 
known, has never been opened. In Afghanistan, many of the topes 
opened by Messrs. JIusson and Honigberger were found to be 
what they cull " blind topes," but they were not able to detect 
by any external sign whether their researches were likely to be 
rewarded with success or to end in dif^appointtneut.^ 

Whether these analogies are worth anything or not, nothing 
appears, at first sight at least, more probable than that, if the 
fallen chiefs of a victorious army are bnried at Avebupy, the 
survivors should have employed their priponevs as slaves to erect 
a mound on the sjwt probably where th« chiefs were slain and 
the battle decided. The tradition, however, having been lost, the 
mound stands silent and uncommunicative, and it is not easy now 
to read its riddle. 

It ia very primature, however, to speculate either on these analogies 
or on the negative results of (ho explorations made into the hill : 
these last were undertaken, like the diggings at Avebiiry, on the 
empirical assumption that (he principal deposit would bo found in 
the centre, and at kSilbury on the ground level, which is exactly the 
place where almost certainly it was not. Supposing that there is a 
low-level sepulture at Silbiiry, it probably will be found within 
30 or 40 yards of the outer face of the mouud, on the side looking 
towards Avebury, if it is connected with that monument. But 
the knowledge we have acquired, as will bo aftorv\ard8 detailed, 
frora the examination of the Jliniiing Lowe, Arbor Lowe, Hose 
Hill tumuli, and other monuments of this class, would lead ua 
to expect to find the principal deposit near the summit. The 
bit of a bridle (woodcut No. 18) and the traces of armour which 
were found in Stukeley's time, near the summit, mark in all 

' 'JouriiBl Boj-bI Asiatic Soc.' xiii. p. 161; and Mnjor Skinner's plan of 
' Wilwm, • Ariosn Antiqiia,' p. 41 ; and Mutson'g ' Memoir," pauim. 

CUAT. Ill, 

avebuhy and stonehenge. 



IR. Iron Bit uf Bridlp. Foond In Sllbuiy Hill. 

probability the position of the principal graves, and nothing woukl 

surprise me less than if five or six entombments were found 

nrraiigetl around the upper 

plateau at a email depth below 

the surface. We shall be in 

a better position to judge how 

far this is probable when we 

haTe finished this chapter; 

but till the evidence is ad- 

duced, it is useless to speculate on its effeot. 

At one time I hoped that the Koman road might be fouu'l to have 
passed under the hill, and if this were the case, it would settle the 
question as to whether it were pr&- or post-Roman. In order to 
ascertain this, some excavations were made into the hill in 1867, 
and siraultaneously on the high ground to the southward of it. 
As traces which seemed undoubtedly to mark the existence of the 
road running past the hill, at about 50 to 100 yards to the south- 
ward, were found there, the excavatiuus into the hill were dis- 
continued, and the line of the road considered as established. 
Owing to various mishaps, no phiu of these discoveries has yet 
been published, but the annexed woodcut, which is traced from 







nOMAN "»*B^ 




II. Flan of Avtbur^. from OrdnaiKe Siarqr. Tbc tbn of Ibe Rtnnan i-oad It l»ti.bcd tfaraii(;lioiiL 

the Ordnance Survey sheet, will suffice to explain its bearing on 
the question. 

Standing on Silbury Hill and looking westward, the road coming 
from Bath over the downs seems to come direct at the hill. After 
paasiDg the Devizes road, it trends to the southward, and shortly 




Chap. III. 

n^ain resumes its original direction. About a mile before it reaches 
the hill, it again resumes its southward direction, and passes it 
at a distance of between 50 to 100 yards, making, apparently, 
for the spot where the bridge over the Kenuet now exists, and 
may have existed in Roman times. Those who contend for the 
pro-Roman antiquity of the hill rest their case on the assumption 
that the Romans always made or wished to make their roads 
perfectly straight, and that this being deflected to the south, 
it was in consequence of the hill being there at the time the road 
was made. This, however, is singularly contradicted by the line 
of this very road westwards from the Devizes road. According to 
the Ordnance Survey, it is set out in a curve for 3^ miles till 
it meets the Wands-dyke. Why this was done is not clearer 
thuii why the roail should have been curved to the eastward of 
tlie Devizes roa<l. But, on the other band, supposing the hill to 
have been where it now stands, and the Romans wished the road 
to be straight, notliing in the world was so easy as for them to 
set out a line maihematioally straijjht between the Devizes road 
and the point where it passes the hill. The country is and was 
perfectly open, and quite as Hat as any Roman road-maker could 
desire, and signals could have been seen throughout with perfect 
facility. It is crediting tlie Konian surveyors with a degree of 
stupidity they certainly did not show elsewhere, to say, if they 
wanted a straight road, that seeing the hill before their eyes, they 
first set out their road towards it, when they knew that before 
they lnnl advanced a mile, they must bend it so as to avoid that 
v(!ry fihstacle. Even then they would have tried to make it as 
straight as possible, and would have adopted the line of the 
present coach-road, which runs inside their line and between it 
and the hill. At the siiran time, if any one will turn to Sir R. 
Colt Hoaro's map of the Roman roads in this district — ''Stations 
CaliiR and Swindon " — which includes Avebnry, he will find that 
all are set out in lines more or less curvilinear, and sometimes 
violently so, when any object was to be gained by so doing. 
Though, therefore, as a general rule, it is safe to argue on the 
presumption of the straightness of Roman roads, it may lead to 
serious error to rely on such evidence in every instance. 

The inference drawn from tlio piece of the Roman road further 




eastward on Hakpeli Hill is the same. It is perfectly distinct and 
quite straight for about a niilo, but if it had been continued In that 
line, it would have passed the hill at a distance of at least 200 yards 
to the southward, and never liave joinetl the other piece till long 
after it had passed the Devizes road. It was deflocted northward 
ID the village of Kennet, apparently to reacli the bridge, and then 
to join the piece coming from Bath. 

Tlie result of all this seems to be, thiit the evidence of tho 
Roman road is inconclusive either way and must be withdrawn. 
Taking the point where it tho Devizes road, and the piece 
which is found on Hakpen hill as fixed points, to join these it 
umst have passed considerably to the southward of the hill; 
whether it tlid so in a uiatlitsiimtically straight line or in one 
slightly curved, was a matter for the jadgment of the surveyor; 
but till we know his motives, it is not in our power to found any 
argument upon them. 

If, however, tho Roman road refuses to give evidence in this 
cause, the form of the hill offers some indications which are of 
value. As before mentioned, it is a truncated stnuglit-lined com^, 
sloping at an angle of 30^ to the horizon, while all tho British 

20. ia«vatloa orifae Dartlow llitla. From tlie 'ArdbvologU,' xzx. 

barrows known are domical or, at least, curvilinear in section. 
In all his experience. Sir R. Colt Hoaro met with only one 
atraigiit- lined monument of this class, which i'ousequ«?utly he 
calls the Conical Barrow. Whether it was truncated or not is not 
quite clear. There are bushes, or weeds, growing out of the top, 
which conceal its form.' Nothing was foiind in the barrow to 
indicate its age except a brass (bronze?) speat-iiead, but it was 
attached to a Britisli village, apparently of the Roman period, 
inasmuch as iron nails and Roman pottery were luund in it.' 
Be tliis as it may, there are a range of tumuli at Bartlow, on the 

' Sir R. C. Hoare. ' Ancient Wiltohire," i. iil. ii. fig. 8. 

» Ibid. i. p. 1!»1. 

u 2 



Chap. Bf. 

boiindary between Essex and Cambridgeshire, which are all 
truncated cones, and are undoubtedly of Roman origin. A coin 
of Hadrian was found in the chamber of one of them, and 
Mr. Gage, and the other arclineologists who were present at the 
opening, were all agreed that all the four ojiened were of about the 
same age.' We may therefore feel assured that they were not earlier 
than the time of Hadrian, tliough from the style of workmanship 
of the various articles foimd, I would feel uiclined to consider 
them somewhat more modern, but that is of little consequence. 
The point that interests ns most is, that the angle of the Conical 
Barrow quoted above is 4.5^ to the horizon, that of the principal 
tumuli at Bartlow 37^°, and that of iSilbury Hill 3i)°. Here we 
coi'ta.iiily have a sequence not long enough to be quite satis- 
factory, but still of considerable value, as an indication that 
Silbiiry hill was post-Koman. 

On the other hand, we have undoubted evidence that the 
truneateil conical form was common in post-Roman times. We 
have one, for instance, at Marlborough, close by, and if that place 
was Merlin's bury, as Sir "R. Colt Hoare would fain persuade us it 
was, it assists us considerably in our argument. Without insisting 
on this, however, Mr. George Clark, in his most valuable paper 
on Ancient English Cjistles,' enumerates ninety truncated cones 
erected in England, he considers, between the Roman times and 
the Norman conquest. "These earthworks," he says, "may be 
thus described : First, was cast up a truncated cone of earth, 
standing at its natural slope from .50 feet to 100 feet in diameter 
at the top, and from 20 feet to 50 feet high."^ Mr. Clark does 
not believe that these were ever sepulchral, nor does it occur 
to him that they might be memorial. I should, however, be 
disinclined to accept the first conclusion as absolute till excava- 
tions had been made into some of them, at least, where I fancy 
we may find indications rather tending the other way. ^Vhether 
they were memorial or not must depend on traditions that 
have not hitherto been looked for. Jfr. Clark's contention 
was that all had at some time or other been used for resi- 

' * Arcbcologrin ' xsx. p. .SOO rt nqq. ' ' Arcli. Journ.,' xxiv. pp. 92 and 319. 

' n.i.l. p. 100. 

Chap. IH 



dential purposes, and as furtifications, and many are recorded 
as having been erected as castles. All tliis is probably quite 
correct, but the point that interests us here is, that there are 
nearly one hundred examples of truncated cones of earth thrown 
up in Eugland after the Roman limes, and not one before. If this 
is 80, the conclusion seems inevitable that Silbury Hill must belong 
to the latter age. Whether this conolusion can be sustained or 
not, must depend on what follows from the other monuments we 
are about to examine. The evidence of the monument itself, 
which is all we have hitherto had an opportunity of bringing 
forward, may be sufficient to render it probable, but not to prove 
the cJise. Unless other examples can be adduced whoso evidence 
tends the same way, the case cannot be taken as proved, however 
strong & prirm facie presumption may be established. 



Though a little distant, it may be convenient to include the 
Marden circle in the Avebury group. It is situated in a village 
of that name seven miles 
south of Silbuiy Hill. -^ 
When Sir R. Colt Hoare 
surveyed it iifty years ago, 
the southern half of the 
vallum had been so com- 
pletely destroyed, that it 
could not be traced, and 
he carried it across the 
brook, making the whole 
area about fifty-one acres.' 
My impression is that this 
is a mistake, and that the 

area of the circle was only about half that extent. The rampart 
was of about the same section as Avebury, and the ditch was inside 
as there. Within this enclosure were two mounds, situated un- 
symmetrically, like the circles at Avebury. The greater one was 
opened with great difficulty, owing to the friable natnre of the 
earth of which it was composed ; and Mr. Ciumington was con- 

21. Hudoi Circle. From Sir R. a Houe. Ko Stale. 

' • Ancient Wiltsliiri',' ii. 5. Unfortuunlely there is no scale otlwhed to tlie plnn 
or the Marden Citule, and no dimensiong qnoted In the text. 



Chap. IIL 

vinccd that it was sepulchral, and contained oce or more burials by 
cremation; but SirK. Colt Hoare was so imbued with the Druidical 
theory as to Avebury, that he could uot give up the idea that so 
similar a inouument must be also a Druidical altar, ami the whole 
a temple. The second barrow was too much ruined to yield any 
results, and on revisiting the spot, it was found to have been 
chmred away. A great jjart of the vallum had also been remoyed, 
but in it was found at least one skeleton of a man who ha<i been 
buried there,* How many more there may have been it is im- 
possible to Bay. The destroyers of these antiquities were not likely 
to boast of the number of bodies they liad disturbed. 

The great interest of this circle is that it contains in earth the 
counterpart of what was found at Avebury in stone ; not that this 
necessarily betokens either an earlier or a later age. There are 
no stones to be found at Manlen, which is on the edge of the 
chalk, while the country about Avebury was and is covered with 
Sarsens to this day. It may, however, be considered as very 
positive evidence of the sepulchral nature of that monument, 
if such were needed, and if it were thoroughly explored, might 
perhaps settle the question of the age of both. In this respect, 
the Harden monument affords a better field for the explorer than 
Avebury. The destruction or disfigurement of its mound, or 
vallum, would be no great loss to antiquaries, if a proper record 
were kept of their present appearance ; while to do anything 
tending towanls the further dilapidation of Avebtiry is a sacrilege 
from which every one would sliriuk. 

Before leaving the neighbourhood it now only remains to try 
and determine who the brave men were who were buried at 
Avebury, and who the victors who raised the mound at Silbury, 
assuming that the one is a burying place, and the other a trophy. 
Some years ago I suggested it was those who fell in Arthur's last 
and greatest battle of Biwlon Hill, fought somewhere in this 
neighbourhood in the year a.d. 520,' and nothing that has since 

' ' Aiioii.-iit Willsliin<.' p. 7. 

* I adopt Dr. (iuciit'B datoa Tor thig 
pnrt ijf tlie Biibjcot, not only Immsmim I 
tliiak them most proboble, but becuee I . 

think, Frinu hia kuowledgc and tho8|)L«iiU 
attoiition he has bestowed on the subject, 
hp 14 most likely t<i be ri^'bt. See 8(tl4»- 
Imrj/ Volume Arch. Journal, p. 62. 

ClIAl'. III. 



occurred has at all shaken my conviction in the correctness of this 
determination," but a good deal has tended to confirm it. 

The authors of the 'Monumorita Bri tannicix ' fix the site of this 
buttle at Banesdown, near Bath, which is the geueraily received 
opinion.^ Carte, and others, have suggestetl Baydou Hill, about 
thirteen miles west by north from Avebury, while Dr. Guest 
carries it off to Badbury, in Dorset,^ a distance of forty miles. 
Unfortunately, Gildas, who is our princi|ial authority on this 
matter, only gives us in three words all he has to say of the 
locality in which it was fought — " rroi>e Subrinum Ostium " ;* and 
it has been asserted that these ivords are an interpolation, be- 
cause they are not found in all the ancient MSS. If they are, 
however, an insertion, they are still of very ancient date, and 
would not have been admitted and repented if they had not been 
added by some one who know or had authority for introducing 
them. As the words are generally translated, they are taken 
to mean near the mouth of the Sevoru, a construction at onco 
fatal to the preteusious of Bath, which it is impossible any one 
should descJ-ibe as near that river, even if any one could say where 
the mouth of that river is. It is most difficult to determine 
where tlie river enrls and the estuary begins, and to a raediseval 
geographer, especially, that point must have been much nearer 
Gloucester than even Bristol. This, however, is of little conse- 
quence, as the words in the text are not " Sabrinse ostium," but 
"Subrinum ostium"; and as the river is always spoken of as 
feminine, it is not referred to here, and the expression can only be 
transkted as " near the Welsh gate." Nor does it seem difficult 
to determine where the Welsh gate must have been. 

The Wandsdyke always seems to have been regarded as a barrier 
erected to stop the incursions of the Welsh into the southern 
coimties, and that part of it extending from Savemake forest west- 
ward, for ten or twelve miles, seems at some comparatively recent 
period to have been raised and strengthened* (either by the Belgte 
or Saxons) to make it more eftectual for that purpose. According 
as an army is advancing northward from Winchester, or Cliichester 

' ' AthentGom Jourual,' Dec, 13, I8&1. 
' ' Moil. Brit." p. 15. 
' • Baligbury Vol." p. 63. 

* * Mon. Brit.' p. 15. 
» Coll Hoaro, ' Anciunt WUtahire,* ii. 
|>. 22. 



Chap. m. 

to the Severn valley, or is marcbing from Gloucester or Cirencester^ 
towards tlie soutli, the rampart either protects or bars the wayvi 
In its centre, near the heail-waters of the Keiinet, the Saxons 
advanced in 557 to the siege of Barbury Ctvstle, and having gained 
that vantage ground, they again advanced in 577 to Ueorham, and 
fought the battle that gave thera jx)sse8sion of Glewanceaster, 
0} renceaster, and Bathanceaster.' What they then accompliehed 
they seem to have attempted unsuccessfully thirty-seven years 
earlier, and to have been stopped in the attempt by Arthur at 
Badon Hill. If this is so, there can bo very little difficulty in 
determining the site of the Welsh gate as that opening through 
whicli the road now passes 2J miles south of Siibury Hill, in the 
very centre of the strengthened part of the Wandsdyke. If this 
is so, thu Saxons under Cerdic must liave passed through tlie 
village of Avebury, snp|X)8ing it then existed, on their way to 
Cirencester ; and if we assume that they were attacked on Wadeu 
hill by Arthur, the whole history of the campaign is clear. If we 
may rely on a nominal similarity the case may be considered as 
proved. Waden is the name by which the bill l)etween Avebury 
and Siibury is called at the present day by the people of the 
country, and it is so called on the Ordnance survey sheets, 
and etymologically Waden is more like Badon than Baydon, or 
Badbury, ur any other name in the neighbourhowl. The objection 
to this is that Waden Hill is not fortified, and that Gildas speaks of 
the " Obsessio Montis Badouici." It is true there is no trace of any 
earthworks on it now, but in Stukeley's time there were tumuli 
and earthen rings (apparently sepulchral) on its summit, which are 
represented in his plates; but no trace of these now remains. 
The hill was cultivated in his day, and in a century or so beyond 
his time all traces of ramparts may have been obliterated, supposing 
them to have existed. The true explanation of the difficulty, how- 
ever, I believe to be found in Jeffrey of Monmouth's account of these 
transactions. He is a frail reed to rely upon ; but ooeasionaliy 
he seems to have had access to authorities now lost, and their 
testimony at times throws considerable light on passages of our 
history otherwise obscure. According to him there was both a 

■ Sftxon t'brouicte, iu ' Moa. Brit' p. 2104. 



mege and • battle; aad kk aeeo^ «f ifce laCdb 

Btantiol and so prohiMti, tial it is diBedl •• U 

a pure inreiitiaB. If it is m*, everjr delid «f k 

wooU annrar perfectly to aa attack as as mmw fam 

WSL* Um aiege vodd tkea frabaUy W ditf af 

which Cerdic would be obliged to rainr ea ^iihMV ajfaaaaa; 

retreating towards the dielter of tke W^iAiMe, ke mm 

taken at this tfoi and defaetad, aad a» 

many jean between tke Bon aad tke Saaoa^ Jk; 

that the written evkkaee ■ mH eit] 

sufficiently pfeciee to eataUiik Am 

fooght on this epoL It ■ 

nothing in all that is wiittea 

and when to this we add ■ 

one end of Waden Hill, aad 

at the other, the prooii that it waa ao bbbb to 

nearly to certainty aa ve can bow expect to i 


Thoee who bdiere, howctie i, tkai aD tkaa 
absolutely prehiatone, will not, of ooanep be amnmaal by aaf^ 
argoment derired from a an^ ■(■■■ai ; Ud if k akaald tan 
out that even a moie oertaia cms caa be aaie aat tm tka 
equally modem age of otkea^ tbaft poktf mbiA 
eeded. When it ia, I Cael no doobi tkat it will i 
b< !iat those who fell in Aztbara t f I ftb ^U 

gr>'». boried in the ring at Avebaiy, tmi Ifaft 

tboKe ^^^SSb ^^'"^ utamet aad At aa^d at 

St'< iti^^^Bt tbey woold ooavqr to tkar **«*^ 



X p. 4. 

ENGLAND. " ' Chap. II f. 

mediBdval history tlian almost any otlier of the series. It must 
be confessed tltiit tliis history is neither ao dear nor so complete 
as might be wished; but, with the other evidence that can be 
adduced, it makes up a case so strong aa to leave little to be 
desired. Before, however, j)roceeding to tliis, it is necessary to 
aacertaio what Stonehenge really is, or rather was, for strange 

e I. iV ' ti, -» to ^ 


12. Ocntral rUu oi SMttUngo. From ' KnIgliCa Old Engluid.* 

to say, thoufj;h numberless restorations of it liuve been pub]!8lie(}, 
not one is quite satisfactory. There is very little discrepancy of 
npiuiun with regard to the outer circle or the five great central 
trilithons, but there is the greatest possible variety of opinion as to 
(ho number and jwsition of the smaller stones inside the central or 
between the two great circles.- 

There seems tu be no doubt that the outer stone circle originally 
consisted of thirty square piers, spaced toh:«rably equally in the 
circle. Though only twenty-six can now be identified, either 
standing or lying in fragments on the ground, it seems equally 




<»rtoia tbat they were all couucoted by u continuons stone 
impost or arcliitmve, though only six of these are now in aiiu} 
The diameter of the circle is generally stated to be about lUO feet, 
and as this lias been suggested as a reason for its being considered 
as jwst-lioinan, it is iraportaut to know what its exact dimensions 
are. It turns out that from the face of one pier to that of the 
jposite one, where both are perpendicular, the distance is 97G, 
br exactly 100 Roman feet. The distance from the outer face of 
these piers to inside of the earthen vallum that surrounds the whole 
is again 100 feet, though that catmot now bo ascertained within 
a foot or two, or even more ; but as this makes up the 100 yards 
and the 100 feet which recur so often ui these monuments, these 
dimensions can hardly be considered accidental, and " valeant 
quantum " are an indication of their post-Roman date.^ 

Inside these outer circles stand the five great trilithoiis. Since 
the publication of Sir R. Colt Hoare's plan, their position and plan 
may be considered as settled. According to him, the height of 
the outer pair is 16*3, of the intermediate pair 17'2, and of the 
great central tiilitlion as it now stands 21'6. In their simple 
grandeur they are perhaps tlie most effective example of mega- 
lithic art that ever was executed by man. The Egyptians and 
Romans raisetl larger stones, but they destroyed their grandeur 
bv ornament, or by their accompaniments ; but these sirai»lo srpiare 
masses on Sahsbury plain are still unrivalled for mugnificeuce in 
their own peculiar style. 

' The history of tbe |iliin given on 
jxigc ',»2, and from wUic-h all tlio dimen- 
aintu iu Ihe tost arc qunte<l, U UiU. 
WlifU I waa rtayiiig with my frioml, 
Mr. Hnwkshaw, the emineut engiouer, 
nl Ev<'r»ley, I wos complnining of the 
inc<irn:-<*tncs8 of nil the published plana, 
wlipn be »id, " I liiivc a mnn in my otBco 
wh(ie« pIsiJS arc tho vvry csecnre nf luiitutu 
M.^:!antcy, I will send him down to mitke 
aae tot yuu." Ue did »>, unil his plau 
-:-to« tealc of 10 feet to 1 inch, is Wnj-o 
nu', I aft^rwnrda t<^>ok this plan to 
Stunuhc-nt^', and identified the ])Oiiitioii 
and cbiiracUT of evrry eUmfl tnarkt^J 
vpcoi it.' 

' I am uIiiiMt afraid ttx alludo to it 
even in a note, lest uomc ouii should 
occiuo mo of founding any theory uprin 
it, like Pinzzi Sniytli'a British iuches in 
the I'yramidn, but it ia a curious coiuoi- 
deuce tiiftt nearly ull the liritiirh circle-a 
are set out in two dimenniona. Tlie 
Kmaller oliuw arc 100 foct, the larger 
are 100 uotrca iu dinrnoU-r. Tbcy aro 
all more tlian 100 yunlii. Tiio latter 
mu<i8un> in at all ovenls certainly acoi- 
dunUil, M) far u we at preaont know, 
but na ft nomeudaturu and " memoria 
technico," the tinploymput of tlio U^rma 
moy be useful, providfvl it ia clearly undor- 
atood Ihitt uutlKory ia boticd upon it. 


CHAr. in. 

All the stones in these two great groups are Sarsens, as they are 
locally called, a peculiar class of silicious sandstone that is found 
as a local deposit in the bottoms of the valleys between Salisbury 
and Swindon. It is the same stone as is used at Avebury, the 
difference being that there the stones are used rough in their 
natural state, here they are hewn and fitted with very considerable 
nicety. Each of the uprights has a tenon on its surface, and the 
undersides of the architrave, or horizontal piece, have each a 
mortice, or rather two mortices, into which these tenons fit with 
considerable exactness. 






n. Stondiaige « u preMot czlMtog, from Mr. tUwkihaw'i pUn. 

Besides these there are even now eleven stones, sonic standing, 
others thrown down, but still existing, within the inner circle. 
These are of a different nature, being all cut from igneous rocks, 
such as are not to be found nearer than CornxTall or even Ireland. 
It has not been exactly ascertained whence they came ; indeed, 
they seem to be of various kinds, and eonseq^uently have 
been brought from different places. Locally they are called Blue 

Chap. III. 



stones, and it may be well to adopt that short title for the present, 
as involving no theory, and as suflBcing to distinguish tliem from 
the local Sarsens- 

None of the blue stones are large ; one of the finest (23 in Sir R. 
Colt Hoare's plan) is 7 feet 6 inches high, 2 feet 3 inches wide at 
base, tapering to 1 foot on top. Tbe others are generally smaller. 
One blue stone opposite 23 is grooved with a channel from top to 
bottom, tlioiigh for what purpose it is not easy to guess. On the 
most cursory glance, it is evident that these stones generally stood 


«. ^-^ 



Plan of S(uDcbFUg« rrttotrd. 

in pairs, about 3 feet apart; but some are so completely over- 
tlirown and displaced, that it is not quite clear whether this can 
be predicated of all. Entering the choir on the left hand we find 
one that seems to stand alone. But we may infer that this was 
not always so, from the circnmstauco that there lies close by it an 
impost stone with two mortice holes in it, only 3 feet 6 inches 
apart, which must have belonged to a smaller order of trilithons, 



Cbap. til. 

and is just snch as would fit a pair of blue stones. The next pair 
on the left is very distinct, and standa between the two great 
trilitbona. The ne.\t pair is also similarly situated. On the op- 
posite side there are two pairs, but sitnat»xl, as far as ran be made 
out, in front of, and not between the trilithons; and an;ftiii, there 
are two blue stones behind the stone called the Altar stone, but 
so displaced l»y the fall nf the g^reat trilitboii behind them, that 
it is impossible to make out their original jwsition with certainty. 

It will probably be impossible to determine whether all the 
pairs of the atones wore miniature trilithons or not, till we are able 
to turn over all the stones that now strew the ground, and see if 
there is a second stone with two mortices ^ or 4 feet apart. In 
the meanwhile there is a passage in Henry of Huntingdon's work 
whicli may throw some light on the subject. lie describes 
" Lapides miwe magnitudinis in modum portanim elevati simt, 
ita ut portiT! portis sujterpositfe videantnr." ' With a very little 
latitude of traiwlation, this might be taken as referring to the 
great tril i I hons towering over the smaller; but if we are to adhere 
t<} the litem] niciining of the words, this is imKlmissible. Another 
explanation has therefore been suggested. The impost stone of 
the great trilithon has apparently mortice holes on both sides. If 
those on one side are not mere wearings of the weather, this 7nust 
indicate that something stood upon it. If wo assume two cubical 
blocks, and raise on them the stone now called the iUtar stone, 
which is of the exact dimensions required, we would have an 
arrangement very similar to that of the Sancbi gateway,^ a cast 
of which is now exhiliiting at tSouth Kensington, and which would 
fully justify Huntingdon's words. If it is objected that it is a 
long way to go to .Sanchi to look for a type, it may be answered 
that the Imperial coins of Cyprns show a very similar construction, 
and botli ntay Ix) derived from a common centre. On the whole, 
however, I am inclined to the first explanation. There certainly 
were large and small trilithons, and too great accuracy of 
description is not to bo expected fitim a Latin writer in the 
middle ages. 

A good deal of astonishment has been expressed at the labour 

' • Hintori*,' In ' Mnn. Brit.' 61)4. 
i>Intcfl iii. M leq^}. 

' Troo and 8cq)cnt Worship,' bj the author. 

cha?. m. 



it must have required to tmnsport these blue stones from Cornwall 
or Wales and to set them up liere. If wo refer them to the pre- 
Roroan times of our naked blue painted ancestors, the difiScnlties 
are, of coprse, considerable. But after Roman times, the class of 
vessels they were in the habit of building in these islands must 
have made their transport by sea easy, even if they came from 
Ireland, aa I believe they did. And any one who has seen with 
wliat facility Chinese coolies carry about monolithic pillars 10 feet 
and 12 feet long, and thick in proportion, will not wonder that 
twenty or thirty men should transport these from the hea<l of 
Southampton water to Stonehenge.' With the works the Romans 
left, and the modicum of civilization the natives could not fail to 
have imbibed from them, the whole was simple, and must have 
been easy. 

Still more wonder has been expressed at the mass of the stones 
composing the great trilitiious themselves, and speculations have 
been rife as to how our fore&thers conld, without machinery, drag 
these masses to the spot, and erect them as they now stand. 
A good deal of this wonder has been removed, since it was under- 
stood tliat the Sarsens of which they are composed are a natuml 
deposit, found on the surface on all the bottoms in the Wiltshire 
downs. Owing to the progress of civilization, they have disap- 
peared about Salisbury, but they are still to be seen iu hundreds 
in Clatford bottom, and all about Avebiiry, and in the northern 
portion of the downs. The distance, therefore, that the stones of 
Stonehenge had to be dragged was probably very sniuJl ; and over 
a hard, even surface of chalk down, with a few rollers and ropes, 
must have btten a task of no great ditfionlty. Nor would the 
process of blocking them up with a temporary mound composed of 
wood and ohalk be one that would friphtcn a rude people with 
whom time was no object. After all, Stonehenge is only child's 
play as compared with the monolithic masses the Egyptians 
quarried, and carved, and moved oil over their country, long 
Ijcforo Stonehenge was thought of, and without machinery in the 
sense in which we understand the term. In India, our grand- 
fathers might have seen far more wonderful things done before w© 

' Twenty Chmese oooUm would ctary naj cme of them np In a week. 


Ck*r. m. 

eriMlMd an feding and enterpriae oat of the V^Ofie. Tlie great 
gateway, for instance, at Seringham is 40 feet bigii, 21 ie«t wide, 
and 100 feet deep. The foor door poats are eadi of a aii^le Uodc 
of granite, more, oraueqaentlj*, than 40 feet in lei^thr lor they 
are partially boried in the earth. The whole is roofed by slaha of 
gnmite, each more than 21 feet long, and raised to the height 
of 40 feet ; and all of these, thongh of granite, are elaboratly 
carved. Yet the building of the gateway was sto^^ted by onr 
quarrel with the French for the poaMonon of Trichinopoly in the 
middle of the last centary. The Indiana in those days had no 
machinery, but with plenty of hands and plenty of leisure monn- 
taina may be raised; and it is on this principle that barbarous 
nations act and by which they achieve sach wonders. The ma o a cfl 
of Stonehenge are not, however, so very great after all, but they 
impose by their simplicity. To use an apparent paradox, it is one 
of the most artistic baildings in the world from its very want 
of art The 40 feet monoliths of Seringham do not impress as 
mnch as the 20 feet stones of Stonehenge, because the one is 
covered with sculpture, the other more nearly in a state of nature, 
and the effect on the mind is immensely enhanced by the 
monolithic simplicity of the whole. 

Strange to say, this very grandeur and apparent difficulty is one 
of the most common reasons adduced for its pre- Roman antiquity. 
Few can escape from an ill-defined impression that what is great 
and difficult must also be ancient, though the probability is, that 
if the feeling were analyzed it would be found to have arisen from 
the learning we imbibed in the nui-sery, and which told us of the 
giants that lived in the olden time. If, however, we turn from the 
teachings of nursery rhymes to the pages of sober history, what 
wo learn is something very different. Without laying too much 
ctKH on the nakedness and blue paint of our ancestors, all history, 
and the testimony nf the barrows, would lead us to suppose that 
the inhabitants of this island, before the Koreans occupied it, were 
sparse, poor in physique, and in a very low state of civilization. 
Though their national spirit may have been knocked out of tbem, 
they must have inr^reased in number, in i»hy8ical comfort, and in 
civilization during the four centuries of peaceful prosperity of the 
Itoman domination, and therefore in so far as that argument goes. 




became infinitely more capable of erecting such a mnnuraeut as 
Stonehenge after the departure of the Romans thiin they bad been 
before their advent. 

It certainly appears one of the strangest inversions of logic to 
Assuoie that the same people erected Stonehenge who, during the 
hundreds, or it may be the thousands, uf years of their occnpati<iD, 
could attempt nothing greater than the wretched mole-liills of 
barrows which they scraj>ed np all over the Wiltshire downs. 
Not one of those has even a circle of stone round its base; nowhere 
is there a battle stone or a sttme monument of any sort. Though 
the downs must have been covered witii Sarseus, they had neither 
sense nor enterprise sufficient even to set one of those stones on 
end. Yet we are asked to believe that the same penph^, in the 
same state, erected Stonehenge and Avebury, and heaped up 
Silbury Hill. These uionuments may be the exjiressiou of the 
feelings of the sjime race; but if I am not very much mistaken, 
in a very different and much more advanced state of civilization. 

We shall be in a bettor position to ans^^er a question which 
has frequently been raised, whether or not the bine stones were 
a part of the original structure, or were added afterwards, wlien 
we have discussed the materials for the history of its erection ; 
meanwhile we may pass from these, which are the really interesting 
part of the structure, to the v\n:\e which is generally supposed to 
have existed between tlio outer circle of Sarsens and the inner 
choir of great stones. 

With regard to this nothing is certain, excci>t in respect to 
eight stones, which stretched across the entrance of the choir, and 
may consequently be called the choir screen. Of the ftjur on the 
right hand side only one has falk-n, but it is still there ; on the 
le.t Imnil only two remain, uud only one is standing, but the 
design is perfectly clear. The two central stones are 6 feet high, 
aud the stones fall off by regular gradation right and left to 
3 feet at the extremities. They are ruile unhewn Sarscn stones, 
but there is nothing to indicuti' wliotlicr they were, or were not, 
a part of the original design. 

Beyond this, between the two great Sarsen circles, there exist 
le nine or ten stones, but whether they are in situ or not, or 




CllAt'. III. 

whether they were ever niyre numerous, it seems imptMsiblo U> 
determine. On the loft hand, nwar the centre, are u pair that may 
liave been ii trilitlion, but the rest are scattered so iiiiBymmetrieally 
that it would be daugoroits to hazard any conjecture with rpj;;ard ti) 
their original arrangement. It seems, huwever, most imprubable 
that while the choir screen is so nearly entire even now, that 
this circle, if it ever existetl, elmuld have been so compltHtoly 
deatroye<i. Mad it been complete, it would probably have consisted 
of 40 stones (excluding, of course, the choir screen), and of these 
only 10, if so many, can be said to belon!:^ to it. These uro rudo 
uiihewn stones, and of no great dimensions. 

In addition to these, there are two stones now overthrown lying 
inside the vallum, ujisymmetrically with one another, or with any- 
thing else. Here again the question arises, were there more? 
Thcro ia iiotliing on the sjKit to guide us to our answer, and as 
nothing hinges upon it, I may perliajis be allowed to suggest that 
each of these marks a secondary interment. At the foot of each, 
I fancy urns or bones, or some evideuco of a burial might be formd, 
and if the plai;e had continue*! for a century aa a burying phice, 
it might have been surrounded by its circle of stoncK, like Avi^ntry, 
or Crichie, or Stanton moor. The place, however, may have 
become deserted shortly after these two were erected, and none 
have been added since. 

There are still two other stones, one standing, one lying in the 
short avenue that leads up to the temple. Their position is 
exactly that of the two stones, which are all that is visible of tht; 
so-called Btrkliamptou avenue, at Avebury. But what tlieir use- 
is it is difficult to guess. Were either of the places temples, they 
would have been placed op|^)08ite one another on each side (if thr? 
Hveime, so that tho priests in procession and pix»i)le might pass 
between, but beiug placed one behind the other in the centre 
of tlie roadway, thoy must have had some other meaning. What 
that may have been I am unable to suggest. The spade may 
tell us if judiciously afiplied, but except from the spade I do not 
know where to look for a solution of the riddle. 

Those who consider that Stonehengo was a temple have certainly 
much better grounils for such n theory than it would bo possibli* 
to establish in res^icct to Avebuiy. Indeed, looking at tho ground 

CDAf. 111. 



plan ulK>ve, there is something singularly templar in its arrange- 
ment. In the centre is a choir, in wliich a dignified service 
could be performed, and a stone lies now just in such a 
position as to entitle it to the apjKsllation it generally receives 
of the altar stone. Unfortunately for this theory, however, it lies 
flush with the ground, and even if we assume that the surface has 
been raised round it, its thickness is not sufficient to entitle it 
to be so called, judging from any analogous example we know of 
elsewhere. Around the choir is what may fairly be considered 
the procession path; and if its walls had only been solid, and 
there were any indications that the building had ever been roofed, 
it would l>e difficult to prove that it was not erected as a temple, 
and for worship. As, however, it has no walls, and it is 
impossible to believe that it was ever intended to be roofed, 
nil the arguments that apply to Avebury in this respect are 
equally applicable here, with this one in addition. Unless its 
builders were much more pachydermatous, or woolly, than their 
degenerate descendants, when they chose this very drafty and 
hypeethml style of architecture, they would certainly have selected 
a sheltered spot on the bonks of the Avon close by, where, with 
trees and otljcr devices, they might have provided some shelter 
from the inclemency of the weather. They never would have 
erecte<l their temples on the highest and most exposed part of 
an open chalk down, where no shelter was possible, and no ser- 
vii!e could be performed except at irregular intervals, dependent 
on the weather throughout the year. As, however, it differs 
not only in plan but in construction — being hewn and having 
imposts — from all the rude stone circles we are acquainted with 
elsewhere, no theory will be quite satisfactory that does not 
account for this diflerence. My belief is, that this difference 
arises from the fact that alone of all the monuments we know 
of its class, it was erected leisurely and in time of peace by a 
prince retaining a considerable admixture of Boman blood in 
his veins. All, or most of the others, seem to be records of 
battles erected in haste by soldiers and unskilled workmen : but 
of this hereafter. 

Owing to its exceptional character, the usual analogies apply 
le08 directly to Stonehenge than to almost any other monument, 

H 2 




Wo shall be better able to judge how far those derived from India 
apply, when we have described tlie raonumenta of that country. 
In Europe the trilithon is ccrtiiinly exceptional, and its origin not 
easily traced. My own impression is, that it is only an improved 
dolmen, standing on two legs instead of three, or four; but 
if that iR so, .the intermediate 8tep9 are wanting which would 
enable us to connect the two in a logical manner. They were not, 
however, quite unknown in the Koman world. Several exist in 
Syria, for iustauee; three of these are engraved in De Vogiies 
work. One (the lomb of Emilias Rcginiis, a.d. 195) consists of 
two Doric columns, witli an imiMist; another (woodcut No. 25) is 

the t<imb of a certain 
Isidorus, and is dated 
A.u, 222, and ia more 
like our Salisbury ex- 
ample ; both these 
last-uamed are situ- 
ateil near Kbatuuru.' 
The bearing of such 
;iu example us this on 
the question uf tlio 
uge of these monu- 
ments admits of a 
■^ double interpret)dion. 
According to the usual 
and spC'Lious mo<le of 
reasoning, the ruder 
form must be thr 
earliest, and tlie architectural one copied from it. But this theory 
I lielievo to be entirely at variance with the facts, as obstirved. 
Tlie rudeness or elaboration of a monument will probably be 
found in all instances to be an index of the greater or less 
civilization of the people who erected it, but seldom or ever 
a trustworthy index of time. What interests us more at present 

^— 4 

Tuoib of l^ <l«ru% 111 ktiilouro. 

' 'iSyrif Cciitml" ,' Iiy C-mit- Mclcliior i Ko U-xt h;i.x yol Itw-u imblishcl, ami no 

il.< Vi>Kiie. Tlimigli lltw wnrk wbk com- niujts, wliiih uiukoH tli» iili'ritillc»lic)ii i.l' 

laciifiitl wmic U-ii yitiix ago, nml wiib- l>ic' |tluiva sluj^ulurly dUBcult. 
iictiptkilM obUiiuml, it is itill incoiriplutc. 

Chap. III. 



is the knowledge that triQae/S^tinji examples are certainly 
sepulchral, and their form is thus aniadiwr" •aegument in favour of 
the sepulchral ehanictor of Stonehenge, ff an^""vror« veedrr<l. More 
satisfactory than this, however, is the testimony bf-OlauS Jfegnus, 
archbishop of Upsaia, quoted above.' Hti descrilies aiiU' figu/evB 
" the most honourable monuments of the great of his country a*' 
erected with immense stones, and formed like great gates or 
trilithons" (in luodum altissimie et latissimae januse sursum trans- 
versumque viribus gigautum erecta;. There is no reason for 
supposing that this author ever saw or even hejird of Stonehenge, 
yet it would bo difficult to describe either the purpuso or the 
rao<le of construction of that monument more correctly tlian he 
dues; and in so far as such testimony ia considered valuable, it 
is decisive as to both the age and use of the inonnineiit. 

Passing on from this branch of the enquiry to such luPiil indica- 
tions m the spot aflords, we find nothing very relevant or very 
importaQt either for or against our hypotlic.sis. It hits been argued, 
for instance, that the number of tumuli that stud the downs within 
a few miles of Stonehenge, is a proof that this temple stood there 
before the barrows wore erected, and that they gathered round its 
sacred precincts. The first objection to this view is, that it is 
applying a Christian precedent to a Pagan people. Except the 
Jews, who seem to have buriotl their kings close to their temples,' 
I do not know of any people in ancient or modern times except 
Cliristiaus who did so, and we certaiidy have no hint tliat the 
ancient Britons were an exception to tbi.H universal rule. 

Assuming, however, for the sake of urgumout, that this were 
ntherwise, we should then certainly find the barrows arranged 
with some reference to Stonehenge. Either they would have 
gathered closely around its precincts, or ranged in rows alongside 
the roads or avenues leading to it. Nothing of the sort, how- 
ever, occurs, as will be seen from the woodcut in the following page. 
Within 700 yards of the monument there is only one very insig- 
nificant group, eight in number (15 to 23 of Sir R. Colt Hoare's 
plan). Beyond that they become frequent, crowning the tops of 
the hills, or clustering in tie hollows, but nowhere with the 

' Viile <inU, footnote, p. 15. ' ' Tnpogrofphy of Jcnwaloiu," liy Hit Amhor, p. 58. 



Chap. IIT. 

least apparent reference to S^onekeflge. If any one will take 
the Ordnance Burvey'wap*i or Sir R. Colt Honre's plnnp, lie will 
.-•.'•••,•..♦ ' find the barrows 

pretty evenly sown 
all over the surface 
of the plain, from 
two or three miles 
south of Stoneheuge | 
08 far as Cliidlmry 
camp, eight miles 
north of it. In- 
deed, if Sir li. Colt 
HtMire's plans are 
to be trusted, they 
were thicker at tlie 
northern end of 
tlie plain than at 
tlie southern;' but 
a8 the Ordnance 
maps do not bear this out, it must not l>e relied ujwn. Nowhere 
over this largo area (say 10 miles by 5 miles) is there any trace 
of system as to the mode of placing these barrows. Itidet-d, 
from Dorchester up to Swindon, over a distance of more than 
seventy miles, they are scattered either singly or in groups so 
completely without order, that the only fea.sible explanation 
seems to be, that each man was buried where he lived; it may 
possibly have lieen in his own garden, but more probably in his 
own, Tlie hut circles of British villages are in grouping 
aud in form bo like the barrows, that it is difficult not to suspect 
some connexion between them. It may have been that when the 
head of a family died, he was buried on his own hearth, and an 
earthen mound replaced the hut in which he lived. Be this as it 
may, there is one argument that those overlook w1k> contend that 
the barrows came to Stouehenge. It is admitted that Stoneheuge 
belongs to the so-called Bronze age,' but one half of the barrows 

at. CoimtoT annud SMStiieuge. From 0r4oanc« Ssrvey nui|>i. 
Seal* ) tncfa to 1 Tnlte. 

' 'Ancient Wiltehire,' i. p. 178, plan ri. 

' 8ir John Liibbook, ' PreluBtoric Timfn.' p. 1 16, 

Chap. Ill, 



contain only flint and stone, and consequently were there before 
Stonelienge was built. Nor is it by any means the case that 
the nearest it wore those which contained bronze or iron, it 
is generally quite the contrary; with all his knowledge, even 
Sir 11. Colt lloore never could venture to predict from the 
locality whether the interment would be fdiiiid to belong to one 
claea or to another, nor con wc now. 

One of the most direct proofs that this argument is untomible. 
is found in the fact, that the builders at Stoncbengn had so littln 
respect for the graves of their pi-edecessors, that they actually 
destroyed two barrows in tnakiiig the viillum round the moimmcnt.. 
iSir R. C. Hoare found am iiitenncnt in one, iiiul from this he 
adds, " we may fairly infer that this sepulchral barrow existed on 
the plain, I will not venture to say before the conHtruction of 
Stoneheuge, but probably Ix'fore the ditch was thrown np." ' 

It seems needless, however, to pui-sue the argnnieut furtiier. 
Any one who studies carefully the Or<luance Survey sheet must, 
1 think, perceive that there is lio connexion between the earthen 
an<l the stone monuments. Or if this fail to convince bini, if he 
will ride from Stonehcngo over West'lown to Chidbury eamp,* he 
can hardly fail to come to the conclusion that Stonelienge camo to 
tlie barrows, not the burrows to Stonehenge. 

One other indication {Irawn from the barrows has been thoHglit 
to throw some light on the subject. In one of those (No. HJ) 
near Stonehenge, about 300 yards off, were found chippings of 
the same blue stones which form the inner circle of the monu- 
ments; but there was nothing else in this barrow to indicate its 
age except a speai^head of brass in fine preservation, and a pin 
of the same metal, which seemed to indicate tliat it belonged to 
the bronze age. In another (No. 22) a pair of ivory tweezers 
were Jbund. From this discovery it was inferred, and not with- 
out some show of reason, that the barrows were more modern 
than Stonehenge; and if we are to believe that all barrows are 
pre-Cliristian, as some would try to fw^rsnade us, there is an end 
of the argument, liut is this so? We have just seen that the 

• fifar R. Oolt Ho«re, ' Ancient Wiltflhirc,' i. p. 115. 

• TUe name is written na Sidbury in the Onlnanoo rimfw. 

Chat. H. 

Bartlow liills were certainly Itomaii. We know that the Saxons 
buried in hows in the conntry, down at least to lliibba tbo 
Dane,' who was slain in 87S, and iu Denmark, us we shall 
presently see, to a much later period; and wo do not know 
when the Ancient Britons ceasetl to use this mode of interment. 
Whoever they were that built Stonehenge, they were not 
Christians ; or, at nil events, it ia certainly not a Christiiui 
building, and we have no reason to assume that those men who 
were employed on its erection, and who had for thoussinds of 
years been burying in barrows, clianged their mode of sepul- 
ture before their conversion to Christianity. It is infinitely more 
prol>ablo that they continued the practice very long afterwards; 
ami till we can fix some time when we feel sure thai sepullure in 
barrows had ceased, no nrgnnieiit can bo drawn from this evidence. 
That the chief mason of Stonehenge should be buried in his own 
liouse, or own workshop, appears to us the most natural thing in 
the world ; and that a village of barrows, if I may use the expres- 
sion, may bo coutem|)orary with the monument I regard also as 
probable ; but unless from some external evidence we can fix 
their age, thoir existence does not seem to liave any direct bearing 
on the points we are now discussing. 

The diggings inside the area of Stonehenge throw more light on 
the subject of our enquiry than anything found outside, but even 
they are not so distinct or satisfactory as might be desired. The 
first exploration was undertaken by the Duke of Buckiughani, and 
an account of it is preserved by Aubrey. He says, *' In 1G20 the 
duke, when King James was at Wilton, did cause tlie middle of 
Stonehenge to bo digged, and this utidi-rdigging was the cause 
of the falling down and recumbencie of the great stone there," 
meaning evidently the great central trilithon. In the process of 
digging they " found a great many bones of stagges and ■ oxen, 
charcoal, batter dashes (whatever that may mean), heads of 
arrows, and some pieces of armour eaten out with nisL Bones 
rotten, but whether of stagges or of men they could not tell."' 
He further adds " that Philip Earl of Pembroke did say that an 
altar stone was found in the middle of the area here, and that it 



' Arcluuolofp*,' vii. pp. 132-134. ' ' Ancient Wiluhiro,' i. p. 154. 

Chap. III. 



was carried away to St. James'." What this means it is not easy 
to discern, for Inigo Jones distinctly describes as the altar the 
stone now known by that name, wliich measures, as he says, 16 
feet by 4. It seems impossible that any other coiiM have existed 
without his knowing it, and if it existed it would have favoured 
his views too distinctly for him not to mention the fact. 

As the digging above referred to must have taken place between 
what is now c<dled the altar stone and the great trilithon, it is of 
considerable interest to us. But stnnige to say it leaves us in 
ignorance whether the bones found there were human or not ; one 
thing, however, seems tolerably certain, that the arrow-heads and 
armour were of iron, from the stite of rust they are descrihed as 
being in, and this so far is indicative of a post-Roman date. 

Another curious fact is mentioned by Camden. In hia plate 
(page 122), half plan, half elevation — at a sjiot marked C ouf.'^ide 
the vallum, men are represented as making an excavation, ami 
the reference is "Place where men's bonea are dug up." This is 
of no great value in so far as Stonehenge itself is concerneJ, but it 
is curious from its analogy with the place where the bi)tie9 were 
found on Hakpen Hill, and may serve as an indication to the sjKjt 
where the bones may yet be found in Avebury. As we sliall see 
further on, there are strong reasons for believing that the prin- 
cipal intf»rment at least was not inside the circle, but situated 
externally on one side. 

In more modem times, Sir R Colt Hoaro adds — " We have 
found, in digging (within the circle), several fragments of Roman 
as well as coarse British pottery, parts of the head and horns of 
deer and other animals, and a large barbed arrow-head of iron," 
thus confirming what Aubrey tells us of the Duke of Buckingham's 
excavation to the fullest extent. Mr. Cuuninfrton also dug near 
the altar to a depth of nearly (i feet, and found the clialk had 
been moved to that depth. At about the depth of 3 feet ho found 
some Roman pottery. Soon after the fall of the great trilitimn, 
in 1797, he dug out some of the earth that had fallen info the 
excavation, and "found fragments of fine black Roman pottery, 
and since then another piece on the same spot." ^ 

' • Ancient Wiltshire," i, p. I.IO. 



Chap. III. 

No excavation in the area has been undertaken since 8ir K. 
Colt Hoare'3 day, but as both h© and Mr. Cunnington were 
e.xperieiiced diggers, and perfectly faithful recorders of what tliey 
t'oiind, it seems iinposaible to doubt, from the iindiug of iron 
armour an 1 Roman pottery in such places, and at such depths 
thitt the building niuat have been erected after the Romans setthiKl 
in this island. As no one now will probably be found to adopt 
Inigo Jones' theory that it was built by the lloniaus themselvf^, 
we must look to some date after their departure to which we may 
assign it« erection. 

For the written history of Stonehenge wo are nnfortunately 
forced to rely principally on .Jefl'rey of Mounionth, who, though a 
rpcorder of historical events, wuh also a fabidist of the most exu- 
berant imagination. It is consequently easy to throw discredit on 
his testimony, and some consider theraselves juistified in putting 
it aside altogether. Ij", however, we are to reject every me<]ia.>val 
author who records miraelea, or adorns his tale witli fables, wo 
may as well shut up our books at once, and admit ttmt, between 
the departure of the Romans and the arrival of the Normans, the 
history of England is a mere confused junilde, in whtrh may be 
found the names of some persons and of tlie battles they fought 
with one another, but uotbing more. It is an easy pnteess, and 
may be satisfactory to aome minds. The attempt to separate 
tlie wheat from the chaff is a more tedious and lab<irioua task, 
fiurrt)unded by difheulties, and open to critieism, but it is one that 
must be undertaken if truth i« to be arrived at. In the present 
instance the choice of dilliculties seems to be clear. Either we 
must rejeet the history of JeflVey as entirely fabulous and 
unworthy of credit, or atimit his principal statement that Stone- 
henge was erected by Aurelius Arabrosius as a monument to the 
memory of the British chiefs treacherously slain by Hengist. 

The first aceouut we have of the event which led to its erection 
is in Nennius, who lived much nearer to the time of the occurrence 
tlian Jeffrey, who copied his narrative. It is as follows:— The 
Saxons having been defeated in eeveral actions on the const of 
Kent by Vortimir, were slnit up in Thanet and forced to wait till 
thev could summon succour from home. \N'hen these arrived, 

Chap. III. 



Uengist, before attempting open force, had recourse to stratagem, 
ond at a feast held at the palace or mooastery at Amesbury, to 
which it was agreed all should come unarmed, three hundred 
British nobles were treacherously si aiu by the followers of llengist, 
who had coucealed their weajxins under their cloaks. War 
eusued on this, and lasted apparently for four yeani, wheti 
Ambrosius, who had siiccewlud to Vortigern, forced the Saxons to 
sue for peace.' That being established, Jeflfrey represents him 
as erecting Stonehenge by the aid of Merlin as a monument to 
tho^ who were so treacherously slain by Ueiigisf. The maseacre 
took place apparently in the year i02, and tlie erertioii of Stone- 
henge consequently may have bocu commenced about the year 
466, and carried on during the following years, say down to 470 
A^. If he had been content to tell tlie story in as few words as 
are nsed here, it probably never won hi have been doubted ; but 
Merlin, in the first place, has a bad character, fur he is mixed 
op with the mediaeval romances which made the story of Arthur 
famous but fabulous, and the motle in which be ia represented by 
Jeflj"ey as bringing the stones from Ireland is enough to induce 
incredulitv in all sober minds.^ As I undcrrttaud the narrative, it is 
this — there existed on a mountain in Indand a monument some- 
thing like Stonehenge, which Merlin, wlicn consulted, advised the 
King to copy. This certainly is the view taken ol the matter by 
Gcraldus Cambrensis in 1187, inasmuch as he tells ns, that in the 
sptit referred to "similar stones, erected in a similar manner, were 
to be seen in bis duy," though in the same sentence he tells us, 
that they, or others like them, were removed to Salisbury I'luiii 
by Merlin.' As he probably speaks of what he saw with his owu 

■ Nttuiiiis, in 'Slon. Drit.' p. 69. 

• J«ft»y, viii. 0, 9, 

* ** Fait antiquui tcmporibuH in Hi- 
tmrniA lupidutn cunp^'rieH mlinirnndu, 
qnm el L'horco gignntuiu dicta fuit, 
■)iiia gignntcs earn ab ultiini» Africn) 
[iartibii« in Uibcrniam nttulerunt et in 
Kililariene« planicie non |irtK.<ul n Ca«tn) 
Kiux'iiHi, tain ingonii "[uaiu viriuin opcre 
tuimbiliter errxf^nint. I'nric et ibiiloiu 
tuiiiilc^ quidani aliin Himillimi ainiili<)ue 
nioilfii iTPcti usiiui' in l.oilicmum conKpi- 

cinntnr. Mirnm qiialiter tanti lapiriea 
tot Ftinm ct t«m tuA^i iinqnnm in nnum 
locnm vel con'>;csli fiifrint Tel cirecti : 
quontnque Hr(ifli.-ii8lf»]ii(liliiw tini ntap;ni>i 
ct nltis alii BUjxTpositi Hint non ininiii<!^: 
qui sic in pendulo el tanqiiam in innni 
fliispcndi vidontur nt potius nrtitieiiin 
Btudio qunni su|i}Kwitivrmn pof]in injiiti 
vidcnntiir. Jiisiln LSritnnnirfltn liixtn- 
ritun lupidi'.s iston m llritonum Aure- 
linM AmbrrMJiis divinn Mrrlini diligr-ntin 
do Hilwrnin in Uritanninni ndvolii pro- 



CnAr. llf. 

eyes, his worda furnish tolerably clear evidence that Merlin hiul 
not removed what slill remaiued at Kildare so many centuries 
after his death. It is also evidence, liowover, that the desijju of 
the monument was brought from Irolniul, antl even copied I'mm a 
ciitsle, the remains of which may probably still, if lotiked for, be 
found. So far as we know there was nothing like Stonehenge 
existing in Ein^dand, nor in France, in the ritli century. But, as 
we shall preseiilly see, there pmhably may have been ia Ireland. 
The only trilittions I know of elsewhere are tliree in a niuniunent 
in the Duer Park near Slif,'0. They am small and simulflte 
portals, but they are more like Stoiiehenge than any ol.«e now 
known. At the iij;e we are now ppeakiug of Ireland had contrive<l 
to nurse her old traditions unintlueuced by Roman or foreign 
examples, and hail attained to that stage in art which would enable 
lier to elalwrate such a style of architecture. \A hile in England 
it is most improbable that anything so purely original could have 
been elalwrated during the Itoman occupation of the island. Still 
a monument like this must have had a prototype, and unless we 
can [U'ove its existence heie before Caesar's time, it is to Iri'land 
or some foreign country that we roust look for tin; uuidel that 
suggested the design. But, after all, are we not fighting with 
a shadow? May it not be that the tradition of a monument being 
brought from Indand applies only to the blue stones? I have 
been ussureil by competent geologists, thongh I have not seen the 
fact stated in any form I can quote, that these belong to rocks 
not found in Great Britain, but which are common in Ireland. If 
this is so, there would be no greater diHiculty in bringing them 
from the Sister Island than from Wales or Cornwall. Once on 
board ship the difference of distance is nothing. If they did come 
from Ireland nothing is more likely than that, after a lapse of 
eight or ten centuries, the facta belonging really only to a part 
should be applied to the whole ; and in that cuso the aid of 

cunvit: et ul tnnli fucinom egrregiuiu | 
itliqnod mpmorinle ri'limiuirut emlein r>r- 
iline ol arte i|Iia priii« in Inco constiUiit 
nbi ooowltiti Saxonuiii cultriH Itritiiniiiiu 
Aoa noi-idit et eiib jmris nbtcnta iieqiii- . 
lilt! tells mnU' Uvtii r<giii juvrntus ncpu- , 
tjuit. '— Tofioijr. HiherntK, v 1. ii. cli. xviii. | 

If we rotild truDt Wurp, llipy Htill 
c'xii*t(Hl in tlic lK>giiiniii^ of tho la^t 
ciuturj". He dfnakH nf " Suxu illw in 
gcntin (.t nidio quio in plnuUiu mm 
lunge a Naasa in ngru Kildnrit nsi el 
nlibi TJsuntur.'' — tfiti. Hih, xxi?. 103. 

Chap. III. 



Merlin or of some equally powerful mngifian would certainly 
linve become indispcnsjilil^^ In tliat age, at least, I ilo not kuow 
finy otiier agency that could have accomplisbecl the transference, 
and I am not at all surprisetl, under the circumstances, that 
Jeffrey arrived at the samci conclusion. 

The true explanation of the mystery seems to be, that the design 
of Stonehenge may have come from Ireland, the native style of 
art having been in aheyanro iti England during tlie Roman 
oc<"upation, and that the blue stones most probably came from the 
Sister Island, wliich is quite enough to account for the Merlin 
myth; but of all this we shall be better able to judge when wo 
have discussed the Irisli anlirjuities of the same age. 

To return to our liistor)', however, a little further ou Jeffrey 
asserts that Aurelius himself was burieil "near the convent of 
Ambrius within the Giant's Dunce (chorea gigantum), which in 
his lifetime he had conimanded to be made."' As far as it goes, 
thi.s is A distinct assertion that the place was used for burial, 
otiierwise from the context we would gather that the Britons sluiu 
by lleugist were buried in the cemet^^ry attached to the monastery, 
and that Stonehenge wjis consequently a cenotaph and not a 
monument. But again, in recording the life of Cunstantine, the 
nephew and successor of .:\jthur, after relating how ho defeateil 
the Saxons and took vengeance on the nephews of Monlred, he 
goes on to say — •* Three years after this he was killed by Conan, 
uiid buried close to Uther Peudragoo, witliin the structure of 
iiruues which was set up with wonderful art, not far from Salisbury, 
and called in the English tongue Stonehenge." ^ This hwt event, 
though no date is given, must have occurred some tiuie between 
54tj, or four years after Arthur's death, and 552, the date of the 
battle of Banbury Hill, where Conaii his successor commanded. 
Assuming for the moment that this may be tlie case, may it not 
suflice to explain one of the mysteries of Stouehenge, the proseuce 
of tbo frtkirs of blue stones inside the choir? Why may we not 
iiiup{H)se that these were erected in memory of the kings or othei-s 
who were buried in front of them ? Wliy may not Aurelius 
and dmstantiue have been buried in front of the two small 

' * HuL Itril.' viii. ch. xvi. 

' ' Hist. Brit." xi. cb. iv. 



Chai-. III. 

pu.ii-8 at either end of the so-called altar stone? If tliis were 
so, and it appears to me extremely probable that it was, the last 
remains of the mist that hangs over the uses of this monument 
would be dispersed. 

From the time of Jeffrey (1147) all subsequent mediseval 
historians adopt the account of these events given by him, with 
occasional but generally slight variations, and even modern critics 
are inclined to acfeitt his accouTit of Constantine and Conan, as 
his narrative can b« ohei-ked by that of Giltlas, who was cotem- 
porary with these kiugs. Similar statements are also found iu the 
triads of the ^Velsh bards, w!ii<.'h some contend are original and 
independent authorities.' My own impression is that tht-y may 
be so, but I do not think their independence has been so clearly 
established as to enable us to found any argument upon it. On 
the other hand, the incidental allusion of .TofTrey to the erection 
of Stoiit'heuge as a cenotaph to the slain nobles, and the sub- 
sequent burial there of the two kings, seems so likely and natural 
that it is difficult to see wliy they should be considered as inven- 
tions. Tlie two last-named events, at all events, do not add to the 
greatness or wonder of the kings, or of his narrative, and ore not 
such things as would be inserted iix the page of history, unless 
they were currently known, or were recorded somewhere in some 
writing to which the historian had accesa 

Before quitting Stonehenge there is one other antiquity con- 
nected with it, regarding wiiich it is necessary to say a few words, 
lijth in Sir li. Colt Hoare's plan and the Ordnance Survey, there 
uxo marked two oblong enclosures called the greater and lesser 
" Cursus," and along which the antiquaries of the last century 
amused themselves by picturing the chariot races of the Ancient 
Britons, though as they siscribed the introduction of races to the 
Romans, they admitted that they must have been formed after 
the subjection of the island by that people.' The greater cursus 
is about a mile and three-quarters long, by 110 yards wide. 
The smaller is so indistinct that only its commencement can 
be identified; but even as coacems the larger, I walked twice 

' Tliin is tho pritioipul arguiuont uf 
llurbi'ft'H ' Cycli»|>» Cliritiiiiuius.' 
* 'Ancient Wiltahin',' i. p. 158. Ik-e 

iilso wwMU-at No. 2<i, p. 102. Tbo dottetl 
|iuri iir iLo BiuiiUcTcuraub u a n»itonition 
of uiy own. 




aeroHS it willumt porceiviuf^ its existence, though I was looking 
for it, and no one I fancy would remark it if Km atteutiuii 
were .not turned to it. Its boundary mounds never could have 
boen 3 feet Iiigli, and now in many places are very nearly 

That these alignments were once race-courses, appears to me one 
uf the moat improbable of the various conjectures which have been 
hazarded with nigard even to Stonehenge, No Romau race-course, 
litat we know of, omitted to provide for the horses returning at 
least once post the place they stnrted from, and no course was 
even a mile, much less a ratio and three-quarters long. What sort 
of horse-races the British indulged in before the Conquest I don't 
know, nor will I hazard an oj)inion on the subject; but if they 
wanted the races to be seen, there are several beautiful and 
appropriate spots close at hand where thej' could have laid out a 
lunger course along one of the bottoms, where tens of thousunds 
might conveniently have witnessed the sport from the sloping 
banks on either bond, whereas here only the front rank could 
have seen the race at all, and that imperfectly. It may also bo 
roraarked that the east cud of the curaus is closed by a mound 
widch must have been a singularly awkward position for the 
judges, though that is the place assigned to them by Sir Eichard ; 
«nd the west end is cut ofi* also by an embankment, behind which 
are several tumuli on the course, which seems a very unlikely 
racing' arrangement. 

But if not race-courses, what were they? If any one will turn 
back to woo<lcut No, 12, p, 55, representing the alignments at 
Merivale bridge, and ooniparo them with the cursus as shown in 
woodcut No. 20, p. 102, representing the ground about Stone- 
henge, 1 think he must perceive that the two cursus, if complete, 
would occupy exactly the same relative position with regard to 
•Stuueheuge — on a much larger scale of course — aa those at 
Dartmoor do to the circle there. The arrangements are so 
bimilar that the piirposes can hardly bo different At firet sight 
this seems to tell against the battle theory. We know of no 
battle fought on Salisbury Plain. This, however, is the merest 
negative it^umittion possible. We know that the massacre at 
•Viiiesbury was followed by a four years* war, Itetween Ambrosius 



Chap. III. 

ttud tlie Saxons.' Buttles there must have been, anil many, 
and what au likely as that the crowning victory ghonltl have 
been fought in the imme'^liate proximity of the capital of one 
of the contending parties. If tliese cnrsns do mark the battle- 
tit^M, it will at onco account for the somewhat nnomalons position 
of Stonehenge. What is so likely as that the victor should have 
chosen the fluid of liis final victory to erect there a monimient 
to the memory of those whose treaelierous slaughter had been 
the cause of the war? Of course this is only an hyjxjthesis, and 
it is only put forward aa such, but it seems to me infinitely nearer 
tlie tnith than that of the gratuitous suggestion of a race-course, 
and looks like one of the coincidences sure to occur when the 
invesltgatiou is on the right jmth towards the true solution. 

The first inipressiim tliat <he narrative of the preceding pages 
will convey to most readers, ^vilI probably he thiit there must be 
something more to be said on the subject, or that something 
important is left out. If, it may be argued, the case is so clear as 
here stated, it could never have be^n doubted, and must have 
been accepted long ago. All 1 can sny in answer is, that if any- 
thing is omitted I am not aware of it. Everything I know of has 
been stated as fully and as fairly iis seemed necessjiry for its 
being clearly underntooJ. In this instance it must be remembered 
that the usual arguments drawn from the division into stone, 
bronze, and iron iiges hardly come into play. Nothing has been 
found inside Stonehenge but iron and Roman pottery. Even 
admitting the barrows in the immediate proximity of Stonehenge 
to be coeval, before their testimony can be of any avail, it must be 
ascertained when men ceased to be buried in barrows, and when a 
man might not wish a bronze spear-head tu be entombed with him 
as a relic, even if he did not fight with it in his lifetime. Even 
then, however, the evidence would be too indistinct to outweigh 
that of the fimls inside the circle. 

If, after wiiat has been said above, any one still maintains that 
Stonehenge is a temple, and not sepulchral, we have no common 
ground Irom which to rejison, and need not attempt it Or if any 

' Vidt: aiUe, p. 107. 

Chap. HI. 



one as fumilijir with tlio kicality us I am jtersoiinlly, or who lias 
studied the Ordnance mnps with the same crtrc, likes to argue that 
the barrows came to Stonehenge, and not Stonehenge to the 
Ijsrrows, we see things with snoh diflerent eyes that we equally 
want a common basis for argniuent. 

In a case like the present, however, the great difficulty to be 
overcome is not so nuich cool argument and close reasoning, as a 
certain undefined feeling that a moninnont must be old because 
we know so little about it. "Omue ignotum pro antiquo" is a 
matter of faith with many who will listen to no argument t«3 the 
contrary, and in the case of Stonehenge the false notion has been 
so fostered by nearly all those who have written about it since 
the time of James I., that it will be very difficult now to over- 
throw it. Those who adhere to it, however, hardly realize how 
dork the ages were between the departure of the Romans and 
the time of Alfred the Great, and how much may have been 
done in that time without any record of it coming down to our 
day. Even if we give them all the megulithic monuments we 
possess, it is very littlo indeed for so large a population in so 
long ft time. 

Even at a much later period of Englisli history than we are 
now occupied with, it ia wonderful how little wo should know of 
our monuments if we dependtd on the " litera scripta " for our 
information. Any one who is familiar witli the guide-books of the 
last, or beginning of the present century, will see what dire con- 
insion of dates existed with regard to the erection of our greatest 
cathedrals and mediseval mouumcnts. Saxon and Norman were con- 
founded everywhere, and the distinction of any of the styles between 
Early English and Perpendicular was not appreciated, and fre- 
quently the dates were reversed. In fact, it was not till Eickman 
took the matter in hand that order emerged out of chaos, and he 
Bucceede<l because his constructive knowledge enabled him to per- 
tseive progressive developments which formed true sequences, and 
he was thus able to supply the want of written information. Every 
tyro now Cixu tix a date to every moulding in any of rmr mediaeval 
buildings, but if we had only written history to depend upon, in 
nine cases out of ten he could not prove that the Imililing was not 
erectt'd by the Romans or tlte Pha^nicians, or anybody else. If 




Chap. III. 

thin )s tlio case in an age when writing was bo common as between 
th»< (/(in«|i»ist and the Keforraation, slionld we be surprised if wo 
find matters so much darker between the departure of the Romans 
and AH're<l, when written history hardly helps us at all? But 
Uiekinnn'a method will, when applied to Stonehenge and similar 
mnnunicnts, if I am not very much mistaken, render their dates 
nearly us clear as those of our mediaeval moauraents have been 
rendered by the same methcKl. 

None but those who have had occasion specially to study the 
subject can be awai'e how devoid of all literary records the period 
is of which we are now treating. So meagre and so scarce are 
they, tliat many well-informed persons doubt whether sucli a 
persoji as King Arthur ever lived ; and sciiteeiy one of his great 
actions is established by anything like satisfactory conteni|x>rary 
testimony. Yet, in all ages, and in oil countries where histories 
either written or oral exist, they arc illled with the exploits of 
favourite national heroes — as Arthur was — which, even l^here they 
are fullest and most difTusej it is the rarest possible thing to find 
in them a record of the building of any temple or tomb. From 
the Imilding of the rarthenou to the curapletion of Henry VlII.'s 
Chapel, the notices of buildiugs in general histories are as few and 
meagre as may be, and are comprised, in a few ]>aragiajjh8 scat- 
tered thrciutrh many hundred volumes. Ko one, I nm convinced 
who has thought twice on the subject, would expect to find any 
notice of buildings in the few pages which are all wo possess of 
hifitory between the departure of the Ronrans and the time of the 
Venerable Rede ; yet the absence of record is the argument which, 
if I am not mistaken, has had more influence on the popular mind 
than almost any other. Too generally it is assumed that, as we 
know nothing alxiut them, thi^y must be old. To me, on the 
COTitrary, nothing appears so extremely improbable as that the 
buildeifi, while leaving no record of their exploits, should Lave left 
any written account of the erection of the Rude Stone Monuments. 

Oue other point seems wrirth alluding to before concluding this 
chapter, which is that nothing has been advanced, so far as I 
know, that would lead us to suppose that the people of this 
island were, before the time of the Romans, either more numerous 
or more powerful, and consequently more cnpablo of erecting, AYEBURY AND STONEHENGE. 116 

such monnments as Stonehenge and Avebury, tban they were 
after that people hod resided for four centuries among them. 
All our existing knowledge seems to tend to a diametrically 
opposite conclusion, and now that the day for vague declamation 
and a priori reasoning is past, if any proof to the contrary can 
be brought forward, it would be well that it were now adduced, for 
otherwise judgment may go by default If we mistake not, the 
case must be strong and clear that is to outweigh the evidence 
just brought forward in reference to the two monuments the use 
and age of which we have just been discussing. 

I 2 



Chap. IV. 




The detailed exaraiiiation of tliese groups fit Avebtiry and Stone- 
heuge will probably be deeinerl sufficient to establish at least a 
prima facie case in favour of the hypothesis that these monuinents 
were sepulchral — that at least some of tlieni marked bailie-fields. 
aud histly, that their antiquity was not altogether prehistoric. If 
this is so, it will not bo necessary to repeat the same evidence in 
treating of those monuments or groups we are about to describe. 
Incidentally the latter will, if I am not mistaken, afford many 
eoufimiations of tlioso propositions, but it will not be necessary to 
insist or enlarge on tlieui to the same extent as has been done 
in the previous pages. 

Among the remaining groups of stones in England, one of tlie 
most important is — or rather wits — that in front of Aylesford in 
Kent. The best known nieinlxr of this group is that known ns 
Kit's Ci>1ty — or Coity-houso, which luia, however, been so often 
drawn aud described that it is hardly necessary to do much 
more than refer to it here. It is a dolmen, composed of four 
stonee, three upright; the two side stones being abont 8 feet 
square and 2 in thickness, the third soniewhat smaller; these 
form three sides of a chamber, the fourth side being — and 
apparently always liavlug been — left open. These three supiwirt 
a cap stone measuring 11 feet by 8 feet. If we can trust 
Stukeley's drawing,* it was an external dolmen standing on the 
end of a low long barmw. At the other end of the mound lay an 
obelisk, since removed, but in Stukeley's time it was said io mark 
"the general's grave." The mound has since been levelled by the 

' ' Iter CuriMnm,' pi. xxxiii. 

Chap. IV. 



plough, but the whole forms an arrangement so common both in 
England and in Scandinavia, that I am inclined to place faith in 
the drawing. So littlo, however, hinges on it here that it is not 
worth while insisting on it, but a trench across the site of the 
barrow might lead to interesting results. Nearly due south of 
Kit's Cotty-house, at the distance of about 500 yards, is another 
monument of the same class, jiopnlarly known as the Countless 
Stones, but so ruined — apparently by searchers after treasure — 
that its plan cannot now be made out. In Stukeley's time, 
however, it was more perfect, and as his pencil is always more to 
be trusted than his pen, it may be worth while to reproduce 
his drawings,' for the aiTangenieut of the stones was peculiar, but 

IT. CoonUeB Stones. AyiaSoriL Froin ■ drawlog by Slnkclqr. 

may have analogies elsewhere. Between these two a third dolmen 
is said to have existed within the memory of man, but no trace 
of it is now to be foiuid. In the rear of these groups, nearer the 
village, there exists, or existed, a line of great stones, extending 
from a place called Spring Farm, in a north-easterly direction, for 
a distance of three-quarters of a mile, to another spot known as 
Hale Farm,' pn&siug throngh Tollington, where the greater 
number of the stones are now found. In front of the line near 
the centre at ToUington lie two obelisks, known to the country 

• 'Iter Curio«atn,' p. ixxii. ' in hii jonth in ntiliiinp those stones. 

• Wlien I WM there four yi.are ngo I He -went over the groiiii<l with me, and 
xMui rnrtamitc enough to fiml iiti oM mun, pointed out the potiltixn or Ihoso be 
tt fetoiioiuniiou, who hiul Ut-n <-niplo}'od romcinberod. 



Chap. IV; 

people as the coffin-stones — probably from their sliapa They 
are 12 feet long by 4 to 6 broad, and about 2 or 3 feet thick.' 
They appear to be partially hewn, or at least shaped, so as to 
resemble one another. 

Besides these stones, which are all on the right bank of the 
river, there are several groups at or near Adding^ton, alx>ut five 
miles to the westward of Aylesford. Two of these in the park at 
Addington have long been known to antiquaries, having been 
described and figured ia the ' Areha3ologia ' in 1773." The first is 
a small circle, about II feet iu tliamet-er, the six stones comprising 
it being 19 feet high, 7 wide, and 2 in thickness. Near it is the 
larger one of oval form, measuring 50 paces by 42 paces. The 
stones are generally smaller than those of the othor circle. 
The other groups or detached stones are described by BIr. Wright,* 
who wont over the ground with that excellent and venerable 
antiquary the Eev. L. B. Larking. They seem to have adopted 
the common opinion that an avenue of sucli stones existed all the 
way frtmi Addington to Aylesford, but it seems to me that there 
ia no sufficient evidence to justify this conclusion. Many of the 
stones seem natural boulders, and in no place is nny alignment 
distinctly perceptible. 

In addition to these, Mr. Wright found, and attempted to 
excavate some smaller monuments of a sepulchral character, 
near Kit's Cotty House, but situated on the brow of the 
hill immediately atmve it. These "consist generally of groups 
of stones buried partly on the ridge of the hill, but evidently 
forming, or having formed, small sepulchral chambera." "Each 
gronp," he adds, "is generally .snrrouudcd by a circle of stones."* 

There only now remains the quostiou, why wore all these 
stones placed here, and by whom ? Mr. Wright is far too 
sober and too well-informed an antiquary to repeat the usual 
nonsense about such monuments having been Druid temples or 
altars. The conclusion at which ho arrives (p. ISU) is that Kit's 

' It ia cxtroiuelr diffionlt to be prociec 
About the (limengions. Oue is almost 
wlKiIIy liuriect in Ibe cnrth, anil iln 
diiueiuioiu cun only Ix) nbtaiuod by 
|>mbing; tho othc-r it Lull' liimuil. 

' ' Arohioologia.' ii. 1773, p. 107. 

• ' WttiKlcriiigs of an Antiquary ; ' 
LoiiduD, 1851, p. 175 et ut^q. 

• loo-U. 175. 

Chap. IV. 



Cutty-house, and the cemetery around it, with that in the parish 
of Addington, together formed the grand necroiHjlis of the Belgian 
settlers in this part of the island. Against this it must be 
observed that the Belgians erected no such monuments in their 
own country, Gallia Belgica being exactly that part of Franco 
in which no stone monuments are found, and it is very unlikely 
that the Belgians should have done here what they did not do 
at home. But another objection is, that the theory is wholly 
gratuitous, no shadow of tradition, no analogy, and no reason 
being adduced to show why it should be so, and, to say the 
least of it, it is moat unlikely. If a straight lino wero drawn 
from tho mouth of the H umber to tho head of Southampton 
Water, this is the only group of this class of monuments to 
the eastward of the line, and what possible reason can we have 
for supposing that the princes or people of that vast district 
chose this place, and this only, for their necrojxilis? Had it 
been some vast plain like Salisbury, or some gloomy valley, or 
the site of some ancient sacred eity, the choice might have been 
intelligible, but a more uurommitic, unlikely spot than the vaHoy 
of the Medvvay could hardly have been chosen. It is neither 
central nor accessible, and neither history nor tradition lends any 
countenance to the suggestion. 

Suppose, on the other hand, we assume that these erections are 
a record of the battle which, according to the Saxon chronicle,' 
was fought on this spot between Vortigern and liengist and 
Horsa, in the year 455, and in which Catigren was slain on the 
side of the British, and the redoubted Horsa fell on that of 
the Saxons. This at least has the merit of accounting for all we 
-the line of stones at ToUington is just such a position 
the British army would take up, to cover the ford at 
Ayleaford against au enemy advancing from Thauet. The two 
obelisks in front would represent the position of the two chiefs ; 
Kit's Cotty-house would become the tomb of Catigren, whit-h 
tradition always represented it to be ; the circles at Adflingtun 
would become the graves of chiefs who were wounded in tho battle, 
and taken to the rear and buried with due honours, at or near the 

• 'Moil. lli«t. Brit.'p. 29». 

spot where they died ; and lastly the tumulus at Horstead would 
idso in acoordftiice with aucii^nt tradition be the grave of Horsa. 

So murk depends ou this last determination, that last year 
through the kindness of Colonel Fisher, R.E., the assistance of 
a party of sappers was jirocured from Chatham, and the mound 
way thoroughly explored. It was found that a cremation (it is 
prosumnd of u liumaii bmly) had taken place on the natural 
surface of tlie ground, and that a tumulus had been raised ora^^ 
it. The ('bulk was dug down to some depth uud found quite undis- 
turbed, but no iirnivment or implement was found anjTvhere. At 
first this .seemed disiippotntiug; but ou Mr. Godfrey Faussett, 
who was present at the digging, referring to certain passages 
in * Beowulf,' it appeari? to be exactly what should have been 
expected. The poem, in the first place, is about tlie best authority 
we could have, imismuch as, according to Kemble, "it gave ac- 
counts of exploits not far removed, in point of time, from the 
erosriitig of Hengist and Ilorsa into Britain, and the poem was 
probably brought hither by some of those Anglo-Saxons, who, 
in 495, accompanied Gerdic and Cyneric."' After Hengist's con- 
flict with Fin. the body was burnt (1. 2232-2251) ; but after 
Beowulf's deuth not only cremation is mentioned, but a splendid 
mound is raised ovnr tlie spot where the funeral pile stood, " ad 
on Eortheu" (1. (i2GU), on the surface of the ground. At Beo- 
wtilf's funeral, vases, and arms, and jewels of all kinds, were 
thrown upon the pile and burnt with him ; and no wonder, con- 
siiiering the wealth just rescued from the guardianship of the 
" Wiirm " by the victorious hero. Poor Horsa died defeated, and 
nil his friends couM expect would be to be allowed to bury him 
under a flag of truce, with such rites as wouKl ensure his proper 
reception in the next world. Had they attempted to bury any 
treasures with him, they probably would have been appropriated 
by the victorious Brits. ™ 

Bede's expression that Horsa 's tomb was situated in "orieiFl 
talibus ]>artibus Cantije,"' has more than once been quoted to 
disprove this identification. But what did Bede mean by "eastern 

' ' Dcowulf : nn .\nglo-Saxon Poem.' trwislatcd by J. W. Kciuble, 1835, prefuof. 
p. six. ' 'Moil. Hist. Oril.' j). 121. 




parts"? May it not have been that in his day the Medway 
divided Kent into east and west? Or lie may have spoken 
without Bufticient local knowledge. But that Horsa fell at 
Aylesford, is as well authenticated as any fact in that age : he 
most probably was buried near the battle-field ; and the village 
where the mound is situated has probably ever since been called 
Hofstead, as it is at this day, 

All this, it appears to me, makes so strong a case, Ihnt I cannot 
help thinking it might be accepted till, at least, something is 
advanced against it. At present I am not aware of any argument 
to the contrary thiit seems to me entitled to any serious considera- 
tion. No flint, or bronze, or iron implement of any sort, so far as 
1 know, have been found on the spot — this may be only because 
they have not been looked for; but as the case at present 
stands, the Danish system cannot be pleaded for or against this 

The real difficulty to be feared in obtaining acceptance of this 
explanation of the stone at Aylesford, is its extreme simplicity. 
After all that has been written about the unfathonmble mystery 
and the primajval antiquity of this class of motmments, to be told 
that these are merely the memorials of a battle fought on the 
Bfiot in th« year 455, is too terribly prosaic to be tolerated, nor 
ought it perhaps to be a<:eepted if it stood aiotie. If, however, 
it proves to be only one of many instances, the ultimate admission 
of the above views can hardly Ijc doubtful. 

Ash DOWN. 

In the neighbourhood of Uffington, in Berkshire, there are three 
1 monuments, two at least of wliich still merit a local habitation 
and a name in our history. One of these is the celebrated white 
horse, which gives its n»nie to the vale, and the scouring of which 
is still used by the iidmbitants of the ucigldxnirhood on the 
occasion of a triennial festival and games, which have been so 
graphically described l)y Mr, Thomas Hughes. 

The second is a cromlech, known as Wayland Smith's Cave, and 
immortalized by the use made of it by Sir Walter fcwott in the 


Chap. IV. 

novel of ' Konilworth.' The tliird ia as remarkable as either, but 
Btill vviints its pc»et. The imciuxed woodi-ut will give a fair idea of 
its nature and extent.' It does not pretend to bo minutely accu- 
rate, aud this in the present iustauco i^ fortunately of no great 

Tbr Sumi Stonci at Aibdtnrn. From t drawUig by A. U Lcwii, Egq. 

ooDsequenco. All the stones are overthrown: some lie flat on the 
ground, some on their edges, and it is only the smallest that caa 
be said to l>e sttinding. Tho consequem-c w, that we ainnot feel 
sure that wo know exactly where any of them stood, nor whether 
they were arranged in lines, like those at Carnac ; nor if so, in 

' Thw wewdent in copied literally from and TdcU I fim about tn quote ftiw mostly 

one by Mr. Lowis publi^hud in tho ' tiJcou from the i»|>oi thnt occoupaiiicMl 

'Norwidi Volume of tlr' International it. Th« iufercucoa, howoTcr, ftra widely 

Prcliistoric Congrt-**,' and 1!k' fltcin^ ilillLrctil. 

Qhap. IV. 



low many rows, or whether they always had the confused appear- 

iBuce they now present. They are spread over an area of about 
1600 feet north and ecitith, and of half that distance east and 
west. The gap in the centre was made purposely to clear the 

[ticw in front of the house when it was huilt, and many of the 

JBtoues it is feared were employed in the erection. They are 
the same Sarsens as are used at Avebury and Stonehpnge, and the 
largest are about 10 feet long from 6 to 9 wide, and from 3 to 
4 feet high (in their present recumbent position); but there 'are 

I few so large as this, the majority being from 2 to 4 feet in length 

'and breadth, and from 1 to 3 high.' 

No one has yet attempted to give any explanation of the monu* 

[ment beyond repeating the usual Druidieal formula;. To me it 
appears almost incontestable that it is a memorial of the battle 
fought here between the Saxona and the Daueis in the year 871. 
From Asser wo learn that t!ie Pagans, advancing from Reading, 
occupied the higher ground. It is sometimes supposed that 
Uflington Castle was thrown up by them on the occasion, which 
is by no means im^wssible. Advancing eastward, they then 
attacked the Christians under Alfred, who occupied the lower 
ground. This, and the ill-timed fit of devotion on his brother's 
part, nearly lost the Christians the day ; but Alfred's skill and 
intrepidity prevailed, and the victory was complete.' This Ix^ing 

I BO, nothing appears more probable than that the victorious army, 
either by themselves or with the assistance of the peasantrj', 
should have collected together the Sarsens in the neighbourhood, 
and have arranged them as Alfred and Iuh army stowl, when he 

[ first received the shock of the Pagans. It seems also probable 
that he wouhl have engraved the emblem of the ivhite horse on 
the side of the hill where the Pagans had encamped the night 
before the battle, and whore probably the fight ended on the 
following day. 

The question whether Weyland Smith's Cave belongs to the 
same group, or to an earlier date, is not so easily settled. My 
impression is that it is older. It is a tliree-chambered dolmen 

• Norwioli Voluroc nf Hie Internntional richiBtodc Congrow,' p. 37. 
Abht, in 'Sloii, Hist, brit.' p. ITH, 



Chap. IV. 

almost ideutical in plan with Petrie's No. 27, Cari-owmore, to be 
described in the next chapter, bnt with this diflerence, that 
whereas the cirde of stones in the Irish example eont«ined 
thirty-six or thirty-seven stones, and was fJO feet in diameter, 
this one contained probably only twenty-eight, and wna only 
50 feet in dianjeter. This and the fact of the one consisting of 
Sarsens — the other of granite blocks — account so completely for 
all the difference between them, that I cannot believe that 80 
gre*t a lapse of time as eight centuries could have taken place 
between the erection of the two. I fancy it must liave been erected 
for the entombment of a local hero in the early centuries of the 
Cliriatian era; but of this we will be better able to judge when we 
are further advanced in our survey of similar monuments. 


At RoUright, lietween Chipping Norton and Long Corapton, in 
Oxfordshiro> there is a circle, which, fi-om what has been writteu 
about it, has assumed an imprortance in the antiquarian world, 
wliich is certainly not due either to its dimensions or to any 
traditions that attach to it Every antiquary, from Camden down 
to liatliurst Deaiie, has tlioiight it necessary to say something 
about this splendid temple of the Druid priesthood, so that the 
traveller, when he visits it, is sure to be dreadfully disappointed. 
It is an ordinary lUO-foot circle, the entrance to whicli is appa- 
rently from the south opposite to the live largest stones, wliich 
are placed in juxtaposition on the north, the tallest in the centre 
being alrout 5 feet in height. The others average about 3 or 
4 feet, but are uneven in height and irregularly spaced, but with 
a tendency to form groups of threes, which is a iieruliarity 
observable in some similar circles on Dartmoor. 

Across the rotul, at a distance of about 50 yards, stands a single 
obeliscal stone, about 10 feet high, on a mound which appears to 
be artiticial. If it is so, however, it was raised with the raaterials 
taken out of a pit, which still exists on one side, and not frum a 
ditch surrounding it, as is usual in such cases. In another direc- 
tion, about a quarter of a mile from the circle, stands a dolmen, 
which is the finest feature in the group. Tlio cap stone, which hjus 

I Chap. IV. 



fallen, measures 8 feet by 9, and is of considerable thickness ; and 
tliree of tlie supporting stones are 7, 8, and 1(( feet in height 
I respectively. 

This circle appears to have been exumined by Ralph Sheldon, 
but without results.' The mound, so far as is known, is yet 
untouched, and the dolmen could not now be explored without 
j caasing its complete ruin ; I presume no one will contest its 
[being sepulchral. It would be difficult now to bring to the test 
I of experiment the question whether the circle is so or not, as 
'some forty or fifty yeai-s ago, it and the plot round it were plan toil 
with larch trees, whose roots have spread over the surface and 
C4>uld with diffit'ulty be now got rid of. This is to be regretted, 
as from its isolated position the group affords an excellent oppor- 
Itunity of testing the usual theories regarding these monuments. 
If it was a temple, it gives us a very low idea of the religious 
state of oar ancestors, that for a disti-iet of from twenty to thirty 
miles' radius they should have possessed only one single small 
I enclosure, surrounded by a low imperfect wall, 3 or 4 feet high. 
If any other had ever existed, traces of it must have been found, 
or why lias this one remained so complete, for not one stone 
api»arently is missing. It is also strange that, as in other 
instances, it should be situated on the highest and bleakest jmrt 
of the surrounding coiintry. It is, in fact, not only the unlike- 
liest form, but the most inconvenient site for a temple. It also 
gives us a very low idea of their eivilizatiou. The circle at 
llollright is a sort of monument that the boys of any of our 
larger scliools could set up in a week, supposing the stones to 
be found lying about, at no great distance, whirh there is little 
doubt was the case when it was erected. The dolmen mitrlit 
require a little contrivance to get the cap stone hoisted ; but there 
is nothing that the villagers in the neighbourhood could not now 
complete in a few days, if so inclined, and certainly notliing that a 
victorious army, of say even 1000 men, could not complete between 
sunrise and sunset in a summer's day. Even if the sepulchral 
character of the group is admitted, it can hardly be the bmrying- 
ground of a chief, or clan, or family. In that case, instead of one 

8liikel<?y, ' Avebury.* p. 1* : Borlnse, p. 210. 



Chaf. it. 

dolmen there must have been geveral, Bnialler it may be, but in 
succesaion. The chief must have had ancestors, or successors, 
or rehvttong, nud they would not be content that one, and one 
only, of thoir fiimily should possess an honoured tomb, and that 
they themselves should rest in undistinguished graves. As in 
other cases, unless we are prepared to admit that it marks the 
site of a battle, 1 know of nothing that wilt explain the situation 
and the Ibrni of the group; nor do I see why we should reject 
Camden's explanation of the oircumstancea under which it was 
erected: "These would, I verily think, to have been the monu- 
ment of S(»me victory, and Imply erected by Rnllo the Dane, who 
afterwards conquered Normandy." " In what time be with the 
Danes troubled England with depredations we read that the Danes 
joined battle with the Englissh thereby at Hock Norton, a place 
for no one thing more famous in old time than ibr the woful 
slaughter of the English on that fonghten field, under the reign 
of King Edward the Elder."' This last, however, is apparently 
a mistake, for it was Eadward (5)01-923) who was really the con- 
temporary of Itotlo. He waf« also the contempornry of Gorm the 
Old, of Denmark, of whose tunudns an<l l^ogun habits we shall 
hear hei*eafter. 

This again will appear a very prosaic anti-climax to those who 
are nursed on ideas of the hoar antiquity and wondrous magni- 
licence of such monuments as Aslidown luul EoUright. A visit 
to them is suflieient to dispel one part of that illusion, and a little 
conxmou-senso applied to the other will probnbly show that the 
more moderate view nicfts perfectly all the real exigencies of 
the case. 


In the neighbourhocttl i)f Penrith in f'uniberhuid there is a 
group, or perhaps it should be said there an? three groups of 
monuments, of considerable importance from their form and 
size, but deficient in interest from the absence of any tradition 
to account for their being where wo tind them. They extend in 

■ C'Aiuilen, * Dritnnniii,' i. p. 2S&. Bco nliio Cliftrk'tnn'a 'Btonehenge rMtnred to 
till' r>nnea.' p. Hfi. 




a nearly straight lino from Little Salkelil on the north to Shap 
on the eoHth, a distance of fourteen miles aa the crow fliee, 
Penrith lying a little to the westward of the line, and nearer to 
its northern than its southern extremity. 

About half a mile from the first named village is the circle 
known popularly as Long Meg and her Daughters, sixty-eight in 
number, if each stone represents one. It is about 330 feet (lUO 
metres) in diameter, but does not form a perfect circle. The 
stones are unhewn bfuilders, and very few of them are now erect 
Outside the circle stands Long Meg herself, of a different class 
of stone from the others, about 12 feet high, and apparently 
h<?wn, or at all events shaped, tu some extent.' Inside the circle, 
Cauideu reports " the existence of two cairns of stone, under 
vrhich they say are dead bodies buried j and indeed it is probable 
enough," he adds, " that it has been a niotnimont erected in 
honour of some victory." ^ No trace of these cairns now remains, 
nor am I aware that the centre has ever been dug into with a view 
of looking for interments. My impression, however, is that tliu 
principal interment was outside, and that Long Jileg marks either 
the head or the font of tlio chiefs grave. 

Close to Penrith is another circle called Mayborough, of about 
the same dimensions — 100 metres — as that at Little 8alkeld, but 
of a very different construction. The vallum or enclosure is entirely 
composed of KUiall water-worn stones taken from the beds of the 
Eaniouut or Eden rivers. The stones are wonderfully uniform in 
size, and just about what any man could carry without incon- 
venience. This enclosure mound is now eo mined that it is 
extremely difiicult to guess what were its dimensions. It may 
have been from 15 feet to 20 feet high, and twice that in 
breadth at its base. The same cause makes it diflicult to deter- 
mine the dimensions of the internal area. The floor of tlio circle 
I calculated as 2!<0 f»iet from the foot of one slope to the foot 
of the opposite one, and consequently the whole as from 320 feet 

' On tljio stone Sir GarJtnpr Wilkin- 
(Miti tnicGil one of tlioso circles of con- 
rcittrio rings whirh nro mi oommnn on 
«<<ini.«i in tlie north nl' Englnnd. I diii 
nfrt Hco it myself, but n»<Mntning it to N? 

true — which I Iwve no doubt it is — il 
will Hot help U8 much till we know 
whrn nnd by whom Uieae circles wore 
' •nrit.'p. 1021. 

128 ENGLANTX Chap. IV.' 

to 340 feet^ from crest to crest; bat these diiuetisious mnst lie! 
taken as only approxiinative till a more cjireful survey ia made 
than it was in my power to execute. Near, but nut quite in the 
Cf-ntre, stands a Kingle nplendid monolith; it may be 12 feet iu 
height, but is more than twice the bulk of Long Meg. In] 
PennaiitH time there were four stones fitill standing in the centre,] 
of which this was one, and proljably there may originally have been 



at, SkPlcli (*tMi of KliiK Arthiii '* Ronnd Table, witli the aiile, i>blitmt«d by Ihe road, mtond 

sveral more forming a suihII circle in tlie centre." In his day alaol 
he learned that there wero four stones — two pairs — standing in m 
gap in thti vallum looking like the rommencement of an avenue. 
The phice, liowover, is too Penrith, luid stone is there too valu- 
able to allow of such things escaping, so that nothing now remains 
wiiich would enable us to restore this monument with certainty. ■ 
Close by this is a third circle known as Arthur's Round Table. 

■ Peniinnt in bin (cxt oalU the (llonictcr 88 ] iir<ia, but tli<< gcaIc nttaoltcd to iiis plnaj 
makeii it 110 yurds ncarl^r. ' ' Tour in 8cotlmid, 177*2,' pi. xjsxvii, p. 27ti. 

Chap. IV. 



It consists, or consisted, of a vallnm of earth, as near as i-an be 
made out, 300 feet from crest to crest ; Imt about one-third of the 
circle being cut away to form a road, it is not easy to speak with 
certainty. Inside the rampart is a broad berm, then a ditch, and 
in the centre a plateau about 170 feet in diameter, slightly raised 
ID the centre. No Btone is visible on the surface, thouo^h the 
rampart when broken into shows that it ia principally composed of 
them. Tlier*;* Ls now only one entrance through the rampart and 
across the ditch, but as both entrances existed in Pennant's time 
(1772), and are figured in his plan of the monument, I have not 
hesitated to restore the seconil accordingly.* The distance between 
Mayborough and King Artlnirs Itoitud Table is jibout 110 yards, 
and at about the same distance from the last-named monument, a 
tliird circle existed in Pennant's time. It seems, however, to have 
been in his day at least only a circular ditch, and has now entirely 

Owing to their more ruined state, the remains at Shap are more 
difficult to describe. They were, however, visited by Stukeley in 
1725, but he complains it rained all the time that he was there, 
and rain on a bleak exposed moor like 8hap is singularly inimical 
to antiquarian pursuits.' The remains were also described by 
Camden,* but not apparently from personal observation, and others 
have described them since, but the destruction has been so rapid, 
the villflgo being almost entirely built out of tliem, that it ia 
now extremely ditlicult 'to ascertain what they really were. All, 
however, are agreed that the principal monument was an align- 
ment, according to some of a double row of stones, of which others 
can only trace a single row. So far as I could make out on the 
^)ot, it commenced near a spot called the Thunder-stone, in 
the north, where there are seven large stones in a field ; six arc 
arranged as a double row; the seventh seems to commence a 

' Neur T/Mihmftlieti, in Annnndale, n 
rirclo existii, or oxisleil, oallcd Wrxxl 
(.'Mile, whioh, in do far &» the plan ami 
ilimcnMotiB are foncemcxl, it iiipnlienl 
with lliiB, It ia figured id Gpiipral 
Kfiy'a * Mililftiy Autiquitips of Uie 
Roninng,' jil. viii. I noiild not he«it«te 
in qnotiuK it nn ii inominn"nt r.f this 

class, bnt for the view which I di.stroRt 
excessively, but which makes it Uok liko 
a Jortiflcatirm. A» I hnvu no iiic-anR of 
Terifyin*; the fsfts. I onn only ilrnw 
attention (o them. 

' ' Iter Boreale,' p. 42. 

» ' Brit.,' Gongh edit. iii. p. 401. 



Chap. IV. 

single line, from this all the way to a place at the southern 

extremity of the village, called Karl Lofts, single stones may be 
traced at intorviils, in a|»piirently n periVrtly Ptnifpht ; line nud 
still beyond tliis, at a faruiyiird called ISrackenbyr, Mr. Simpson 
fancied ho cnukl, in ISDl*, trace the remaius of a circle 40U feet iu 
diameter, with a large obelisk iu the centre.' I confess I was not 
BO fortnnatt* in ISfJH, and I also diflVr from him as to the position 
of the stouo row. Ho scerns to fancy, from the descrijition of 
Stukeley, that it was situated to the southward of Karl Lofts, 
thougli ho could not detect any tmces of it. My impression is tlmt 
it foiumeiiced with the circle at Brackenbyr, iiumediati'ly south of 
Karl Lofts, and pracceded in a north-westfrly direction for nearly 
a mile and a half to the Thunder-stone, as before mentioned. 
Kathor more than half a raile due sonth of Brackeubyr stands a 
|)ortion of what was once a very fine circle. It was jwirtially 
destruye<l by the railway, but seems to have been a hundred- 
foot circle, and to have stood considerably in advance of the 
line of the avenue, iu the same relative position to the stone 
row as the circle at Morivalo Bridge (woodcut No. 12), or as 
Stoneheuge to its eursus (woodcut No. 26), whether we assume 
that it was continued in this direction, or terniitmted as above 
indicated. In front of the circle is a noble tumulus, called Kemji 
How, in which the body of a man of gigantic stature is said to 
Lave been found.* 

According to the popular tradition the stone avenue originally 
extended to Muir Divook, a distjince of rather more than live 
niik'8, to which it cert^iinly points. Tliough tliis is most 
improbable, it is not wholly without reason, as on Muir Divock 
there are five or six circles of stone and several tumuli, TIm^ 
circles have most of them been ojieued recently, and iu all 
instaucoa were found to contain cists or other evidence of inter- 
ments.^ Immediately over the Muir stands a commanding hill, 
1747 feet high, marked on tlie Ordnance Survey as Arthur's Pike. 
Besides these, on the hill behind 8hap, to the ejistward, are 
several stone circles, some single, some double, but none are of 

' ' ArchsBoloidiHl Jmimal,* XTiii. p. 29. » Jbid., xviii. p. 37. 

• I noi nnl awnre that auy uccouut of these diggings hu been |mbliah«)d, Tim 
facts I BM.>crtuiucd ou tiie «^(K>t. 

Oiup. IV. 



iy great size, or composed of stones of very large dimensions. 
The whole aspect of the country is that of a district used as h 
turying-place to an extent far beyond anylliiiig that the nsHat 
iuhabitants of the lorality couUl have required, for a blealer 
and more iingenial spot is not inhabited in any part of these 

So far as 1 know, no credible tradition attaches to these 
iQonumenta bo as to connect them with any historical or local 
incident. We are, therefore, left almost wlioUy to their intrinpio 
forms, or to analogies, to determine either their history or their 

No one will now probably be found seriously to maintain that 
the lon<^ stone row at Shap was a temple either of the Druids or 
of any one else. At least if these ancient people thought a single 
or even a double row of widely-fi]>aced stones, strctchin*^ to a niilo 
and a half across a blesik moor, was a proper form for a place to 
worship iu, they must have been differently constituted from our- 
selves. Unless they poasessed the tails, or at lenst the ]un<i:-pointe(l 
ears with which Darwin endows our ancestors, they woulil have 
adopted some form of temple more nearly similar to those used 
in all other countries of the world. Nor was it a toudi. Not 
only have no .sepulchral remains been found here, but nowhere 
else has any trace of such a purpose been found connected 
with such alignments. Even, however, if it is contended that it 
is 8e|iulchral, it certainly was not the buryiug-place of tin; hairilnt 
of Hhap. or of its neigh bourhooil, for a more miserable 8[>ot for 
habitation does not exist in England, and it cannot !»' that 
Sbap, like Avebury. should require the most magnificent ceme- 
teries in the island, while nothing of the sort exists uear the 
great centres of popniation. Had the country been as thiiddy 
inhabited as China, we might fancy the people seeking waste 
uncultivable s|>ot8 in wliich to bury their denil, but even at the 
present day Woking is the only cemetery that has been st-lected 
on this princijilc in England, and at any previous time to wliicli 
we cau look back, the idea appears too absurd to \xi entertained 
for a moment. 

If, therefore, the alignment at Shap was sepulchral, it mu!.t 

K 2 



Chap. IV. 

have been the burying-place of those that fell in some battle on 
the spot ; this in fact brinn;s U8 to the only suggestion 1 am aware 
of that speriis at all tenable : that it marks a battle-field like 
those on Dartmoor (ante, p. 51), and others we sliall meet with 

EzcavatioQa have proved that all the smaller circles which 
abound in the neitthboiirhood are graves, and if those from 
tjO feet to H)0 feet in diameter are bo, all analog)' must lead us to 
the inference that the 100-metre circles are so also. Direct proof 
has not, however, yet been obtained of this, but that may arise 
first from the difficulty of e.\t'«vatiug so large an area; or it may 
be that the bodies were buried outside the circle, as at Hakpen 
{aiUe, p. 76), or at the foot of the stones, as at Crichio (ante, 
p. 75) or in those eirrles whifh have no erect stones in a similar 
posiiion — at (he toe of the inner slope of the rampart — and these 
are just tlie places where they have not been looked for. Mean- 
while the cairns in tlie inside of the circle of Long Meg's 
Daughters seem to favour this view of tlicir sopidchral purpose. 
But if sepulchres, certainly they were not family or princely 
tombs. If that was their destination they would not be found only 
in two or three groups in the wildest and most remote parts of the 
country, but in far greater nuuibers, aiifl nearer those places where 
men most do congregate. We are in fact driven to Camden's 
suggestion, that they may have been made to celebrate some 
victory; but, if so, what victory? It looks like riding a hobby 
very hard to make tlie same suggestion as was made with regard 
to Avebury, but I confess 1 know no other that can be brought 
forward with so much plausibility as that of considering them 
to bo memorials of Arthur's campaigns against the Saxon 

The first objection that will naturally be raised to this hy[)othesi8 
is, that King Arthur was a myth, and never fought any battles at 
all. It was not neccssai-)' to examine this when sfieaking of Ave- 
bury. All that was then required was to know if Wadt^n Uill was 
Badou Hill. Jf it was the site of that lamous battle, there was no 
further enquiry necessary. Arthur, and lie only, commanded 
there ; and if we admit the fact of the battle being fought, we 
admit at the same time tlie existence of liim who commanded 

Cbap. IV. 



there. But with regard to the other eleven battles 'mentioned by 
Nennius * the case is not so clear, and according to the present 
fashionable school of historical criticism it is thought reasonable 
to reject the whole as a myth, because the evidence is not such as 
would stand examination in a court of law, and also because the 
story as it now stands is so mixed np with incredible fables as to 
throw discredit on the whole. It is very much easier to heap 
ridicule on the silly miracles which Merlin is said by mediajval 
minstrels to have performed, and to laugh at the marvellous 
exploits of Arthur and the Kuights of his Round Table, than to 
attempt to glejin the few facts which their wild poetry has left 
unobscured. But if any one will attempt the same process with 
one of the many ' Lhystoires du noble et vaUlant roy Alexandre le 
grand,* he will find exactly the same diflBculties. Aristotle and 
his master have been rendered quite as fabulous persons as Merlin 
and Arthnr, and the miracles of the one and the feats of the 
other are equally marvellous. In Alexander's case we fortunately 
have Arrian and Curtius, and others, who give us the truth with 
fL'gard to him ; but Artliur had no coutemjwrary history, and 
instead of living in a higlily civilized state that continued for 
ages after him, he was the last brilliant light of his ago and 
race, and after him all was gloom for centuries. It was not till 
after a long eclipse that his name was seized ujioa iu a poetical 
and no uncritical age as a peg for bards whereupon to hang their 
wild imaginings. 

This is not the place to examine so large a question. It will 
be sufficient to state what I believe to be the main facts. Those 
«1k) do not admit them need not read further. Arthur, it 
seems to me, was born the prince of one of the smaller states in 
the AVest of England, probably Cornwall, and after the death of 
Ambrosius, in or about the year 508, took up the struggle the 
latter hud carried on with, varying success against the hordes of 
Saxons and other? who were gradually pushing the Brvts out of 
England. My impression is, that even before the liomaus left, 
Jutes, Angles, and Danes had not only traded with, but had 

' lli'f«\ a^iri, I iiijcite from the copy in the 'Mon, Hiat. Brit.' p. 47 rf *oiy;., to 
wUicli it will not be unxaaary tu refer cvory tiuu- the duiul- is mcntioiiod. 



Chap. IV 

settled, both on the Saxoniciim Jittns of Kent, and on the coast 
of Yorksliire, Northumberhind, and tho Lotbitin.s : and that during 
the century tliiit clnj)-ii?d between the depnrtiire of the Romans 
and tbu tinio of Arthur, thoy were gradnuUy [Hisbiiig the iJiitish 
papulation behind the range of hillsi whiob extends from Carlisle 
to Derby and forms the biiclv-bone of England. It was in the 
plains behind this range and Ini tiier sonth that all Arthur's battles 
seem to have been funglit. With Cumberland, Wales, and Corn- 
wall behind him, he was not only snre of support from tlie native 
p()|inlati()n in his rear, bnt had a secure retreat in case of adverse 
fortune overtiikJng him. In all this range of country I do not 
know any spot so favourable strategically for a defender of 
his' country to take up as the high land about Blmp, or the 
open country extending from thenee to Salkold. The ridges at 
Sliiip [irotectod bis right against an enemy advancing by Lancaster, 
the Caledonian Forest and a very rugged country covered his left, 
and in front there was only a wild inhospitable tract by which the 
invader from the op|H)sito const could advance against him, while 
by a single day's march to his rear he was among the inaccessible 
mountains and takes of Cumberland. 

I am afraid to lay much stress on the fact of one of the circles 
at Penrith and the hill opposite Shap bearing Arthur's name, 
because in the last few years we have seen two hard-lieaded 8ol»er- 
minded Scotchmen proving, to their own satisfaction, that Arthur 
was born north of tho Tweed — that ail his battles were fouglit 
and all his exploits purfurmed in the northern portion of the island. 
Even Ganora — the faithless Guinevere— if not a Scotchwoman, 
was at all events buried in Mieglo churchyard under a stone, which 
some pious descendant Bcid()tured some centuries later.' Even 
here, liowever, I fancy I cau perceive a difl'ei-euce bctwe<:m the two 
cases. In the middle ages the Scotch had historians like Boe<;e 
and Fordun, who recorded such fables for the ediHcation of their 
countrymen, and with projier patriotism were willing that their 
country should have as largo a share of the world's greatness or 
great men as they could well appropriate. They were followed 

' Stuart Glenn if?, 'King Artbar,' 1867. 
Wiik-B," i, O'J et uqq. 

L. W. Skene. 'Ancient Boolu of 

Chap. IV. 



by an educated class throughout the country, who were actuated 
by the same motives, and did exactly what Stiikeley and liis 
followers did with English inoiiuincnts. They found DruitU wlio 
Lad no temples, and remains which they sujiposod to he teuiplt'S 
with no priests ; so, putting the two together, they made what 
they fancied was u perfect wliole out of two iiit'onrrruons halves. 
So the Itkrotch, having a rich repertory of fuhles on the one liaml, 
and on the other having hills without names and sculptured 
stones without owners, joined the two together, and wont on 
repeating in the same manner tlieir inventions till, from dire 
reiteration, they took the likeness of fact. 

The ease was, if 1 mistake not, very different iu Cumherland. 
The boors of that land had no literature — no learning, and nono 
of that anient patriotism which euubled the Scotch poets and 
pedants to manufacture a qtifisi history for themselves out of i4lier 
people's doings. It is diflicult to fancy the inhabitants of Cum- 
berland trouhliug themselves with Arthur and his affairs, anti 
wishing to apply his name to their hills or antiquities, unless some 
ancient tradition litid miule it prohable, and, " valeat qiumtum," 
these names may therefore be consideretl aa suggesting a real 
i»nnexion between the place and the mun. 

Owing to the extreme brevity of the record in Nennins,' there 
are few things about wbicli greater discrepancy of opinion exists 
even among the believers in x\rtliur than the localities of hia 
battles. Taking them in the order in Mhicli they are monlioned, 
the fii-st is said to have been fought on the river Glem of Glein, 
wbicb the editors of the ' Monumenta Histovica Britiinnica ' 
suggest may be a river of that name iu Northumberland. The 
river indicated is so small a brook that it is difficult to laucy its 
name should ho attached to so important an event. 

If we must go so far north, I woidd rather feel inclined to place 
it at Wood Castle, near Lochmabcn, in Dumfriesshire, where there 
is a circular enclosure identical in plan and (.liuieu8ion.s with King 
Arthur's Round Table at Penrith." »Slrategically, it is a much 
more likely spot than the exposed east coast of Northuniherhind ; 

' 'Moil. Hint. Urit; p. 73. 

' (.SciK-rol Koy'a ' Mil. Ant. ofUiu Eouuub,' pi. vili. 



Chap. IV. 

but, except the plan of Wood Castle, I kt)ow of no authority lor 
plaeiug this battle-field in Annandale. 

There is no indication where the second, tliinl, or fourth battles 
were fought; but for the fifth we have this iinport*iut designation 
that it was fought " super aliud flunien quod vocatur Duglas vel 
Dubglas quod est in regione Linuis," or in another MS. Linnuis. 
A mar;.'!nal note suggests Liudesiiy, in Lincolnshire, but for no 
other reason apparently tliau from the first three letters being the 
same in bath. There is a Kiver Duglas flowing past Wigan, in 
Laneashire, which Whittaker, in his ' History of Manchester,' 
boldly adopts as the place indicated, and otiiershave been inclined 
to accept his determination. After going carefully over the ground, 
I confess no spot appears to rae more unlikely for a great 'battle 
than the banks of this river, nor does any hx-al evidence of tlieir 
liaving been so now remain. One cannot but feel (hut if Artlini" 
ever allowed himself to bo pushed into such a corner, with 
uothiug but the sea behind him to retreat uixm, he certainly was 
not the general that made so successful a stand against the 
Saxons. I am much more inclined to btdieve that Linnuis is 
only a barbarous latiuizatiou of Linn, which in Gaelic and Irish 
means sea or lake. In "Welsh it is Lyn, and in Anglo-Saxon 
Liu, and if this is so, " In regione Linnuis " may mean " In the 
Lake Country." 

The name of the river does not appear to mo at all an 
insuperable difficulty. All the rivers about Penrith, the L(jwther, 
the Eamount, and the Eden, have names that were certainly given 
to them by the Saxons, but they must have had Celtic names 
before they came; and Dubh as an adjective is dark or black, and 
Glas, green or grey, is used as a substantive to denote the wa, iu 
Irish. Sucli an epithet would appl}^ admirably to the Lowther; 
and if it could be identitied with tlio river mentioned by Nennius, 
our difficulties would be at an end. These speculations, however, 
must of course be taken for what they are worth. Tliere is, so 
far as known, no authority for the name Duglas or Dubhglas 
being applied to the Lowther or Eden. 

The sixth battle was on a river called Bassas. It has been 
suggested that this means the Bass ItiK-k iu the Frith of Forth ; 
liut it need hardly \x- objected that a rock is not a river, and there 

Ohap. IV. 



is an extreme improbability that Arthur ever saw the Lothians. 
In Derbyshire there is a Bas Lovre^ in a neiglibourhood where, as 
we shall presently see, there is reason to believe Arthur fought one 
or muro ol' his battles, but I am not aware of any river so called 
in that neighbourhood. 

The seventh war was in Silva Caliilonis, "id est Cat Coit Celidon." 
The Cat in the last name is evidently Cat or Cath, "a battle," 
which we frequently meet with, and shall again in describing these 
matters. Coit, only so fiir as the dictionaries tell us, means 
coracle, and would seem to indicate a struggle in boats. The 
Caledonian Forest, is what will really determine the hK;ality. 
tJenerally it is understood to be the forest that e.xtended I'rom 
Penrith to Carlisle; and, if so, any one of our Penritli circles might 
be assumed to mark tlie site of the seventh battle. BCost probably 
in that case it would be the Salkehl circle, or it might bo one 
known as the Grey Yawds, near Cumrew, about eight or nine 
miles further north.* 

The eighth battle was in Castello Cuinnion, or Guin, which, 
from the sound of the name, can hardly esuapo being in Wales 
or the Welsh border, unless indeed we assume that these Welsh 
>pelIation8 were common to the whole country belbro the Saxons 

-named many of the pla^'ct In that ciis<3 we have nothing to 
guide us as to where the buttle was fuught. 

The lunth battle was " in Urbe Legiouisi" This may be either 
Chester or Caerleon in South Wales. It moat probably was tlie 
latter, as in another IMS. it is added "qme Britantiico Karlium 
dicitur," or Cair liii in another. 

The tenth war was on the shores of a river which was called 
Kibroit. Though this is spelt in various MSS. Tribniit, Trath- 
reuroit, and Trattreuroit, it seems impossible to identify it. But 
it must have been a large river, or the expression " in littoro " 
would hardly have been used. 

The eleventh battle " fait in Monte quod dicitur Agned Cath- 

' DaUonan, 'Tun Years' Diggings,' 
p. 87. 

* I knTO not accu tliia circle myself, 
tlioiigli 1 iiiiiilf- a long jiiiirnc)' on piir- 
^KWO. It ill imi'l if) i'ousIkI u( riglily- 

f^iglit fetonen, and cmo larger thnii llio 
roat, gtauiling uuUiJu the cirrlu. iit a 
distauco of alxiut flvc j'ar<l,<, »t uxui'lly 
;i8 Loiij; Mijj (lUiinU with rurunjiiue In 
Im'U' ilaii^liti-ri?. 



Cbai'. IV. 

regonnon ;" anrl in different MSS. this is spelt Cathregoinion, 
Cabregoimon, Cutbroj^oniiion, and in one it is added, " in Souier- 
Betsliire quem nos Cathbregiou appvllumus," No such name 
set'ms now to be known in that ronntry ; but as wo Hliall presently, 
I hope, see reason for believing, the sjxjt is probably that now 
known as Stanton Drew. 

Tlio twelftb battle was tliat of Mount Badon, the position of 
whteh, as we bare already pointed out, may almost certainly be 
fixed in the immediate neigbbourliood of Avebury, 

All tliis is indistinet enough, it tnust be confessed, and nuieh 
uf it dejuends on nominal Himiluriticf, which aro never very 
satisfactory; still the general impression it leaves seems worthy 
of acceptance. It would lead us (<i tliink tlint Artliiir coinnieuee*! 
his struggles with the invaders in tlie north uf England, probably 
in the time of Ambrosius, and fought bis way southwards, till 
after twelve campaigns, or twelve battles, he reached his crowning 
victory at Badon Hitl, which gave him peace for tlie rest of his 

)'s. At all events, with respect to the iirst seven battles, there 

jms no rejisou why we should not appropriate any of them 
except perhaps the first — to our Cuuibeiland circles. The proof 
of whether or not it is reasonable to do so will of course depend on 
the case we can make out for the other cirejos we have to 
examine, and on the general interdependence which the whole 
series can be shown to have on cue another. 

At present it may lie allowed to stand on an hypothesis, which 
certainly has the merit of explaining the facts as now kuowTi ; 
but the probability or disproof of which must depend on the facts 
and arguments to be adduced hereafter. 


The next group of monuments with wliich we have to deal is 
|)erhaps as interesting as any of those hitlierto described. As 
before mentioned, when speaking of the labours of William and 
Thomas Batcman, the north-western portion of the county is 
crowded with barrows, but none apparently of so ancient a 
character as those excavated by Cauou Greenwell in Yorkshire, 
and most of them containing objects of so miscellaneous a character 


Chap. IV. 



I to defy systematic classification. As these, however, hardly 
Wlong to the subject of which wo are now treating, it ia not 
ueceesary to gay more aliout them at present ; and the less so, 
that the group which falls directly in witii our line of research is 
well define<l as to locality, and probably also as to age. 

The principal moniitnent of this group is well-known to 
antiquaries as Arbe or Arbor Low,* and is situated aliout nine 
iniles south by east from Buxton, and by a curious coincidence w 
placed in the same relative position to the Roman Road as 
Avebury. So much is this the case, that in the Ordnance Survey 
— barring the scale — the one might be mistaken for the other if 
cut out from the neighbouring objects. Minuing Low, however, 
which is the pendant of Silbnry Hill in this group, is four miles 
oft", though still iu the line of the Roman road, instead of only one 
mile, as in the Wiltshire example. Besides, there is a most in- 
t^TCSting Saxon Low at Benty Grange, about one mile from Ai-bor 
Ijdw. Gib Hill, Kens Low, Ringham Low, End Low, Lean Low, 
and probably altogether ten or twelve imjwrtant mounds covering 
a space five miles in one direction, by one and a half to two 
miles across 

ArlKjr Low consists of a circular platform, 167 feet in diameter, 
surrounded by a ditch 18 feet broad at bottom, the earth taken 
from which has been used to form a ninijmrt about 1.5 feet to 
18 feet high, and measuring about 820 feet in circumference on 
the top.' The first thing that strikes us on looking at the plan 
(woodcut No. 30) is that, in design and general dimensions, the 
monument is identical with that called "Arthur's Round Table," 
at Penrith. The one difierence is that, in this instance, the 
section of the ditcli, and consequently that of the rampart, have 
been increased at the expense of the berm ; but the arrangements 
of both are the same, and bo are the internal and external 
dimensions. At Arbor Low there are two entrances across the 
ditch, as there was in the Cumberland and Dumfriessliire 

• Firat described in the 'ArchsBo- 
logu,' vol. viii. p. 131 tt »eqq., by the 
Rev. 8. PeRge, in 1783. 

' These (liiucDHUinK, as W(>11 as the 
(jIhu, lue tokeu from Sir (iardaur Wil- 

kinson's paper in tho 'Joornal of the 
Arohnaological Aasoointion," xvi. p. II O, 
and may coosequeiiUy bo Uioroughly 
dbjjended upon. 


CriAP. IV. 

examples. As mentioned above, only one is now visible there, the 
other having been obliterated by the road, but the two circles are 










XtbuT Low. From a dikwing by Sir aatduer WnUdMU. 

in other respects so similar as to leave very little doubt as to their 
true featuri'8. 

The Derbyshire example, bowever, jiossesses, in addition to its 
earthworks, a circle of stouE^s on ita inner pliitform, originally 
probably forty or fifty in number; but all now prostrate, except 
perhaps some of the snialleat, whicl), being nearly cubical, may 
still be in sHu, In the centre of the platform, also, arc several 
very large stones, wliich evidently formed part of a central 

There is another very interesting addition at Arbor Low, 
which is wanting at Penrith, this is a tumulus attached nnsym- 
metrically to the outer vallum. This was, after repeated 
attempts, at last successfully excavated by the Messrs. Dalemai), 
and found to contain a cist of rather irregular shape, in which 
were found among other things two vases' one of slngidarly elegant 

' Batctnun, ' VcsligeB,' p. C5. 

Orap. l\ 









tf tMV'l 

VN » V X V 1 

Va£fs and Bronu ?lu Tuuiiii Id Arliur Low. 

sbape, tlie other less so. la tberaselves these objects are not 
snfScient to determine the age of the barrow, but they suffice t.o 
show that it wa.s nut 
very early. One gi-eat 
p«.iiut of interest in this 
diecovery is its position 
uith reference to tlie 
circle. It is identical 
with that of Long Meg 
with reference to her 
daughters, and perhaps 
some of the stones out- 
side Avebury, supposed 

to be the comniencemeut of the avenue, may mark the principal 
places of iuterraout. 

Attached to Arlror Low, at a distance of about 260 yards, is 
another tumulns, called Gib Hill, apparently about 70 to 80 feet 
in diameter.' It was carefully excavated by Mr, T. Bateman in 
1818; but after tunnellinjjf tlirongh and through it in every direc- 
tion on the ground level and findinjtr nothing, he was 8iirpri8e<l at 
finding, on removing the timber which supported his galleries, that 

I the side of the hill fell in, and disclosed the cist very near the 

SccUanofGIbHIU. No scale. 

summit. The whole fell down, and the stones composing the cist 
were removed and rc-ereeted in the garden of Lumbordale House. 
It consisle*! of four massive blocks of limestone forniing the nides 
of a chamber, 2 feet by 2 feet 6 inches, and covered by one 4 feet 
square. The cap stone was not more than 18 inches below theturC 
By the sudden full of the side a very pretty vase was crushed, the 

' Thiaf Jimcusious aro tiikrn from Sir (Sanincr WilkliiHon'M plan. The Batcnmns, 
with nil lliL-ir meriu, utc Hingulnrly cnroleitit in (.|uoling •limeitsioiui. 



Chap. IV. 

fragrnents mingling with the Inirnt bones it contained ; but though 
restored, uuibrlunately no represt-ntation has been giveu. The 
only other artiflos found in tliifl tuiuulns wcro " a battered colt of 
basaltic stone, a dart or javelin-jwint of flint, and a small iron fibula, 
which had been enriched with precious stones."* 

Though Cib Hill is iuterestiiig as tlie first of the high-level 
dulmons which \vc have met with in this country, Minnin;^ Low is 
a still nujre striking exaiiiiile of that class which we liinted at 
before as common in Aveyron (anfe, woodcut No. 8), and which 
we shall meet with frequently as we proceed- When it first 
attracted the attention of antiquaries in 178ti, Minning Low 
seems to have been a Btraiglit-jined truncated c^Jiie, about 300 
feet in diameter, and the platform on its summit measured 

-•- € -- 





3S. »auunllo( JnzmlnsLow, Mllaprpcamllii I7!i«. Ktum [XiuglM. 

80 feet across.' Its lieiglit could not be ascertained,' It was 
even then planted over with trees, so that thesi- dimensions, 
except the breadth of the jdatform, are hardly to be depended 
upon, and since then the whole mound has been so dug iiitu 
and ruined, that they cannot now be verified. On the platform 

' Ante, -p. 11. 

' Dniif^laa, * NLtiiik Drittanica,' p. 168. 
pi. zzxv. 

' If wc km-w its hciglit we might 
gueas its age. If it was 65 feet iiigli. its 

angle must b« HO liegruti, ami ita nge 
prulwil'Iy the snme a» that of Silbury 
Ilill. If too foot, and its angle above 
40 dpgret'is. it must liave been older. 

Chap. IV 



at the top iu 1786 there, stood five kistvaens, each capable of 
containing one body; and, so far as can be made out from 
TX»uglas' phites and fleseriptions, tlie cap stone of these was flnsli 
with tlie surface, or jioasibly, as at Gib Hill, they may have been 
a few indies below the surface, antl, becoming exposed, may have 
been rifled as they were found ; but this is hardly probable, because 
unless always exposed, it is not likely they would have been either 
lotiked fur in such a situation, or found by accident. Below them 
" — at what depth we are not told — a stone chamber, or rather three 
chambers, were found by Mr. Batetnan, apparently on the level of 



Plan of Chumben In Ulnnlng Low. 

the ground on the south side- of the Bori-ow.^ To use Mr. Batenian's 
own worrls ('Vestiges,* &c , p. 39): "On thi> summit of Mtnning 
Low Hill, im they now ajipear from the soil being romovod from 
them, are two large cromlechs, exactly of the same construction as 
the well-known Kit's Cotty-house, near Maidstone, in Kent. In 
tbe cell near wbidi the body lay were found fragments of five 
urns, 8ome unimal bones, and »\x brass Koman coins, viz., one of 
Claudius Gothiciis (270), two of Constantine tlie Clreat, two 
of Constantino, junior, and one of Valentiniaii. There is a 
striking analogy between this and the great Barrow at New 
Grange, dascribed by Dr. Ledwich, of which a more complete 
investigation of Minning Ix)w would probably furni:*h additional 
proofs." Mr. Bateman was not then aware that a coin of Valen- 

' * Ton Years' Diggings,' p. 82, 




tinian Imd been found in tlie New Grange mound,' \vlii<'h is one 
similarity in addition. 

Tlio fart of these eorns being found hero fixes a date beyond 
which it is impossible to carry back the age of this mound, but not 
the date bch>vv which it may have lieen erected. The coins found 
in British barrows seem almost always those of the last Emperors 
who held sway in Britain, and who>»o ^-oins may have Iwen ]irc- 
served and to a eertnin extent Kt'pt in circulation after all direct 
connexion with Rome had ceased, and thus tlieir rarity or antiquity 
may liave made them suitable for sepulchral deposits. No eoin 
of Augustus or any of th<> earlier Kraperors \v4vs ever found in or 
on any of these rude tumuli, which must certainty liave been tlie 
case had any of them been pre-Romau, This mound is conse- 
quently certainly subseqncnt to tlie first half of the fourth 
century, and liow much moro tnodeni it may be remains to be 

Bo this as it may, if Mr. Bateman's suggestion that this monu- 
ment is a counterpart of Kit's f 'otty-house is correct — and no one 
who is familiar with the two monuments will probably dispute it— 
this at once removes any improbability from the argnnient lliut 
the last-named may be the grave of Catigrcn. The one striking 
difiVreneo between the two is, that Kit's Cottv-house is an extcrival 
free-standing dolmen, while Minning Low is buried in a tumulus. 
This, according to the views adopted in these pages, from the 
experience of other monuments, would lead to the inference that 
the Kentish example was the more modem of the two. It 
is not, however, worth while arguing that point here; for our 
present purpose it is sufficient t^o know that both are post- 
Roman, and probably not far distant in date. 

Another barrow belonging to this group is at Benty Grange, 
alxtut a mile from Arbor Low, which, tluiugh of a diflerent 
character, may be connected with the others. One body only was 
buried in it, of which no trace, however, remained but the hair." 
There was apparently little more than 2 feet of earth over it. The 
first thing found was a leather drinking-cup, ornamented in silver 

• ' Pcfrie'B Life,' by Stokca. p. 2M. 

• The coinplPiG diaappMirutice nf the 
IxTitv of tliis iinilnnbtiMl Snxnn chief 

might to mnltc tis cAutious in aficribing 
tvmoto Bntiqtiity to mniiy Cfanpnmlivcly 
frpsh luKlif s wr fimi I'lspwlierc. 

CuAV. IV. 



witli stars and crosses. Two circular enamels were also there, 
adorned witli that interlacing pattern found in the earliest Anglo- 
Snxon or Irisli M8S. of tlie sixth or sevcntli centuries, or it may be 
a little tarlier ; a helmet also was found, fornipd of iron bars, with 


3it Frajnn'iii "< I'rhiking Clip from Benljr li rangp. 

M. Fracrocn' ol Helmet fioui DrMy Urang'-. 

bronze and silver ornaments, and surmounted by what Mr. Entenian 
assures us was a periootly distinct representation of a hog, llo 
then quotes from Beowulf several passages, in which the poet 
describes: "The boar an ornament to the head, the helmet lofty 
in wars" (1. 4299). . . . "They seemed a boar'a form to bear over 
their cheeks" (1. 1104). ..." At the pile wa^ etvsy to be seen, the 
mail-shirt covered with gore, the Log of gold, the boar hard as 
iron" (i. 2213). As Beowulf lived, as shown above, probably 
in the fifth century, the poem may be taken as describing per- 
fectly the costume of the warriors of bis day; and nothing could 
answer more completely his description tlian the contents of this 

In Kenslow Barrow, between Miuning Low and Arbor Low, 
were found a few implements of Hint and lx)ne; but on clearing 
out the grave in the rock, wkich had been examined before in 1821, 
Mr. S. Batenian fnund some portions of the nkeleton undisturbed, 
find with liiem a small neat bronze dagger, and a little above these 



C'jur. iV. 

an iron knife of tlie shape and size usually deposited in Anglo- 
Saxon interments.' Of course the theory of suocessive interments 
is called on to explain awny these disttn-biiig facts; but there 
Beems nothing here to justify nny other inference than that in tliis 
case all the deposits belonged to the same age. This, therefore, 
may be added to the examples quoted from the ' Vestiges,' to show 
how little the Danish svstera is really applicable to the class of 
monuments of which we are treating. 

On Stanton Moor, four miles east from Kenslow, and about five 
miles from Arbor Low and 31 inning Low respectively, there are 
many monuments, both of earth and stone, wliich, though on a 
smulh-r scale, seem to belong to the same age as those just de- 
scribed. They seem to have been very much overlooked by the 
Batemaus, but a very detailed account of them is given by Mr. 
Rook<> in the sixth volume of the * Arclia-ologia,' in 178t>. One of 
them, called the Nine Ladies, has been given already {ante, p. 4!)) ; 
but westward of it stands or stood a stone, called the King Stone, at 
ft distance of 34 yards, thus suggesting a similarity to the Salkeld 
circle. Half a mile west from this, nearer Arbor Low, is another 
group of nine stones, the tallest 17 feet in height, and 7o yimls 
southward two stones of smaller dimensions; 200 yards from this 
an oval ring, the major axis of wliich measures 243 feet, the minor 
Ififi feet. It has what Mr. Itooke calls a double ditrh, a rampart 
outside the ditch as well as one inside ; it is, in fact, a less-developcd 
example of that form of which Arbor Low and Arthur's Round 
Table are finished examples. On the east side of the Jfoor were 
three tall isolated stones, which in Rooke's time the natives still 
CjJled Cat Stones, showing clearly that the tradition still remained 
of a battle fought there, but when or by whom no tradition lingers 
on the fipi>t to enlighten us. 

All these monuments ond many more whieh it w^mld be tedious 
an<l uninteresting to particularize, are eontained within a circle, 
which may be described with u radius of alout three miles, 
the centre being half way between Henty (rrnuge and Stanton 
Moor. It would perhaps be too much to assert that they are all 
of one age ; but there is certainly a very strong family likeness 

' BHU'luan. • Ton Ycnrs' Digging*,' p. 21. 

Chap. IV 



Mmong tluriii, liiui tliey ciinnot diffiT inuuli oitlior in age or {nirpose. 
It muy also perhaps be conceilefl tliat they are not the Unuha 
or t4>mples of the inhabitants of the moors on whicli tliey stand. 
The coimti'y where they are situated is a bleak iuhospitabh' 
tract, only not quite so bad as Shap, but hardly more able to 
support a lar<i:o papulation, if loft only to their own resourees, 
than the Wiltshire Downs. These three localities conld never 
consequently have been so naiicli richer in this class of monu- 
ments than settlements in the more fertile piirts of the islund. 
Strangers must have erected them, and to determine who these 
strangers were, is tlie task to whieh antiquaries liave now to apply 

Whatever may be determined on the puint, one thiiij.', I think, 
must and will be conceded, which is, that Arthur's Table at Penrith. 
Arbor Low, and Avebiiry, are monuments of the same age, and 
wei-e dedicated to the same purposes. The first, is a simple earthen 
monument, of a certain design and with certain dimensions; the 
second has the same design and dimensions, with the addition of a 
circle of stones and dolmen in the centre; the third has all the 
features that the other two possess, with the addition of iiiereased 
dimensions, and tho internal circles being doubled. But the 
internal ditch, the rampart, and the character of the circle and 
other features, are so like each other, and so unlike what are found 
elsewhere, that they must stand or fall together. If any one of 
these belonged to tho age of Arthur, all three certaitdy did. If, 
on the other hand, any one of the three can be proved to belong 
Ifi another age, the other two will hanlly be able to maintain their 
position. The circles at Cumrow, Salkeld, and Jbiyborough, 
present so many jminta of similarity, that they, too, must probably 
be classed with these three, though there is not the same evidence 
to Justify their being chissed together. The stone avenue at Slu»p 
is also jnost probably the counterpart of that at Kennet; but the 
destruction of the circle at Braokenbyr, and the limited knowledge 
we have of it, prevent anything very definite being predicated 
regarding it. 

If we may consider Gib Hill as the analogue of Silbury Hill, iU 
place and position may throw some light r.n the mystery attaching 
to the latter. The relative distances of these satellites to their 

L 2 



Chap IV. 

primaries is nearly propoiliunitl totlio diameter of the cirolt's. and 
they Ijotli present the peculiarity that they have uo intciment in 
their base. The Archaeological Institute in 1849 did exactly what 
the Batemaiis had done before them. They tnnnelled and explored 
the base of Gib Hill, and gave it up in desjutir, when an accident 
revealed to them the grave over their heads, within 18 inches of 
the surface. The antiquaries were not so fortunate at Silbury; 
but jiidjj;iii^ from the atiulotrv of Gib Hill, and .still more from 
tliat of Uliuning Low, the graves may be expected to be found 
arranged arcnm<l the jilateau on the summit, probably six or seven 
in number, and as probably within a few feet of the surface. 
There wus none in the centre of the platform at Jfiuning Low, 
though there was in the smaller tunujlus of flib Hill; and this 
may account for the Duke of Northumberland's ill-8ucce,s8 when 
he dug into the hill in 177ti. Poor Stukeley was very much 
laughed Jtt for prizing a very modern-looking iron bit, belong- 
ing lo a liridle that wa.s found on the top of the hill' (woodcut 
No. 18); yet it may turn out to l>e the only real fjict he brought 
away from the place. Nothing but an iron sword was found in 
the ki.stvaen, on the top of Minning Low, but it wa.s nearly 
perfect;' why shanld not the bridle bo found, for we know that 
horses were frequently buried with the warriors they had borne 
in hatlle? 

Omitting Cornwall for the present, the circles at Stanton Drew 
form the only other group of any importance in England for which 
it remains to fin<l a purpose and a name; and I confess I see no 
reason for separating them from tliose just named. There are so 
many points of similarity, that Ihey can hardly be of an age far 
ap:irt, and their purpose certiu'nly is the same. If there is any- 
ihinij in the argimients ndduce<i above, they must mark a l«ittlc- 

a family o 



princely sepulchi 

' "III 1723 the w<wkiDOTi dug np tlie 
body of a K^^at king buriixl thcro i 
ill the ctTitro, u very little bulow tlie 
Burfuw. The Ikidi's vtvre extremely ' 
mtU-n, unil, six weeks nftor, I ciime 
lucliily to roHcuu a great curiosity which 
iLpy tfwk out ttiore— ftti iron cLiiin, as 
thov pftlleil it. U wnH thn liridlu hiiriitl ' 

«]nng ■with the luonflrch. There wero 
(leer liorns anil ati iron knil'c, with « 
luiTic h'ljulli', ton, nil csceewively mttcn, 
tiiki'O tip iiloiig with it."— .Sltikejey's 
• .StnachenKO nnd Avfbury," pp. 41-12. 
Tin' In idle in fii;iired, pi. xxxvi. 
' ninii;lu9, 'Nunift Uiil." p. 168. 



ckai'. rv. 

a distance of 157 yartla fnmi the last-named.' Attarlicil to flit,- 
two |)riiici|)!d circles are short straight avenues, jvoiutiiig ajipa- 
letitly to two stones very near to one another — the one at a 
distance of 300 feet froin the hirge circ^le, the other at the 

38, view of \t» CBndea at SUntoD Drear. From a ikHrh hj IVrcT SUrllon, Ewi. 

dwtaiice of about lU(i from the siualler one, <jr at (listuncea 
relative to thoir diametei's. There is also a very large stone, 
eulled the King Stone, by the roadside, but beyond the limits of 
the plan. This, with the stones Ui which tlie avenues point, are 
jirob-ibly the analogiies of tlie detaehed stone, known as Long 
Jlcg, at SalkelJ, or the Ring Stone, whic^li stands 180 feet from 
one of tho circles at Avebnry; perhaps aho of the two which 
are assumed to be tlie ooinraenceracnt of the Bockhampton 
avenuo at that place, or of the Friar's heel at Stouehengc, or of 
the King Stone at Stanton Moor. In fact, all these circles seem 
to liave detached stones standing at some little distance from 

' Kotliing n»n exceed the cffWtntery in 1826, when Mi. CrokpT made, for Sir 

with which Stukelry in«>rteil curveil K. C. Hoare, tbi" survfy fponi whifli tlio 

Kvc-uuus Ix-twceii UiCAi circles, so lu Ui wooduut ia (x>|iie<l, with 8tr Unrtlncr 

niiike the whnlo into a scri^ent funit. Witkin-sou's corrcctiotu. 
Nuthio;; of Ihc lcui<l oxietcs nor cxistcil 

Chap. IV. 



them outside. It is tliere that I would look for the principal 
interments, rather than in the circles themselves; but this is one 
of tlie questions that the spude, and the spade only, can decide. 
There is, however, also attached to the smaller uf the two circles 
at Stanton Drew a heap of atones which is apparently the ruins 
of a dolmen, and these may mark the real place of interment, as 
does the tumulus attached to Arbor Low, which corresponds with 
them in position. 

The only recorded tradition with regard to this monument 
Stanton Drew represents Keyna, a holy virgin in the lifth 
jntury, the daughter apparently of a Welsii prince, obtaining u 
grant of the land on which the village of Keyuslium now stands 
from the prince of the country. She was warned, however, of the 
iasecority of the gift, in consequence of the serpents of a deadly 
Bpecies that infested the place. She accepted the gift notwith- 
standing, and by her prayers converted the serpents into the 
<stones we now see there,' so at least Stukeley and Bathurst 
Dean assure us. 

Such a tradition is only valuable as indicating the date that is 
popularly ascribed to the monument. In this instance the fifth 
century is suggested, which may be 50 or even 100 yeare earlier 
than I would be inclined to assign it to, but such data are of 
little consequence. The date is also shadowed forth in the 
incident related ; for not only in Ireland, but in France, and 
frequently also in England, the early struggles of the first 
Christian missionaries are represented as vii^tories over the 
snakes or snake worshippers. St. Ililda, for instance, at Whitby 
signalized the establishment of Christianity in the seventh 
century by converting the Yorkshire snakes into Ammonites, 
which are still foimd there in quantities, which in the eyes 
of the peasantry are much more like stone snakes than the 
stones into which St. Keyna transformed her Somersetshire 

Whatever the value of and such like traditions, <>iu! 
thing seems quite certaiu, that every local tradition which has 
yet been quoted represents these monuments as erected subse- 

• ' Aruhwilogui,' XXV. p. 189. 



ClIAf. 1\ 

quently to Roman times, and generally as belonging to that 
transitional age when Chrislianity was siriiggling with Paganism 
for the mastery. The common people are generally willing 
enough to amuse themselves with fables about giants and detni- 
gods, and to wander back into prehistoric times ; but with regard 
to these monuments they do not eeem to have done so. I do not 
recollect a single tradition that ascribes any stone circle to the 
pre-Roman period. 

If, however, I am correct in assuming that these great groups 
of circles belong to th<* Arthurian age, we have no difficulty in 
assigning to this one its proper phice iu the series of Lis 
battles. The ninth, as we have seen above, was probably fought 
at Caerleoii on the Usk ; which would seem to indirate that. 
at a certain point iu his cnrtxn*, Artliur was forced back quite 
out of England into South Wales; but his return on that hypo- 
thesis is easily traced. The tenth battle was on the shore 
of some largo river, which ought in consequence to be the 
Severn, though the name given in the text lends no counte- 
nance to this supposition ; the eleventh was " In monte quod 
dicitur Agned in Somersetshire," whii-h would answer perfectly. 
except iu name; for Stanton Drew, in that case, would bo in 
tho direct line of advanci^ to Badon Hill, where the twelfth and 
crowning victory was fought. 

The name here, as throughout, creates the difficulty, but 
Stanton on the Stones, or Stone Town, is simply an epithet 
applied to all these groups by the Saxons at some period sub- 
sequent to that of which we are speaking, when the memory of 
their pur^iose was Inst, or little cared for by those of a different 
roco, and speaking a different language, who had succeeded 
to the Bryts, who had erected them. Unless we assume 
that Stonehenge, Stanton Drew, the circles on Stanton Moor, 
and the stones at Stcnnis, and others, wore erected by tho 
Saxons themselves, they must originally have borne Celtic names, 
and it would be these names that Nennius would quote, and 
which consequently could not be those by which they are now 
kno» n. 

Tho expression '• in monte " is singularly cunlirmntory of this 
determination, inasmuch as one of the remarkable features of the 

CllAP. IV. 



locality is the forlified hill known as Maee' Kiioll, winch 
literally looks into Stanton Drew, und is the most remarkable 
feature seen from it, and a fif^lit on its ridge is as probable an 
operation as any likely to be undertaken in tliis quarter. 

If the above were all the evidence that could bo produced in 
support of the hyjiothesis that all thoso preut circles beLmged 
to the Arthurian ago, it niiglit bo admittud to be sufficient to 
establish not a conc-liisiou but a fair prima facie case. The 
reasonableness, however, of what li;ts been here advanced will, 
it is hoped, become more and more uppurcnt as we proceed. 
Absolute mathematical or logical proof it is to be feared, in the 
present state of the evidence, is not available. Till attention 
is fairly turned to a certain definite line of nrguraent, the experi- 
menbi are not made, and tin' authorities arc not read, which bear 
upon it, or if made or road are not understood ; but when the 
arguments are examined with the earnest desire to prove or 
disprove them, new light springs up from every quarter, and 
before loug there may be grounds foi* a positive answer. 

3Iean while it may be well to point out, before going further, 
that this class of circles is peculiar to England. They do not 
exist in France or in Algeria, The .Scandtmiviaii circles are all 
very different, so too are the Irish. The one circle out of England 
that at all resembles them is that at Stenuis, or rather Brogar, in 
the Orkneys, which will be described in detail further on. There 
we have a great lOO-ractre circle, witli a ditch (but no rampart), a 
smaller 100-foot circle, with a ruined dolmen in its stone circle, as 
at Stanton Drew, and we have the Maes Ivnoll for the ULaes How. 
The Stennis group has also the detaiclied stones, though it wants the 
rudimentary avenues, and eomo minor peculiarities, and it may be 
more modern, but it is very Kimihir; whereas those in Corn wall and 
elsewhere are small and irregular, and totally wanting in the dignity 
belontring to those which we have ventured to call Artlmrian. 

' What is llie mt^ning of the word 
"Macs"? It i» ainguLir ttiit the "Mat^ 
Hoir, ID Orkney, kIiouM hear tho Hame 
relnlivo position ti Iho $<tikU(ling Stom-a 
of Stcnnijt, in Orkm'y, that Mites Knoll 
»loe« to the group of-citclos. I <Io not 

know of the name ocourring anywhere 
else. According to the diotionnricH, it 
merely means "plain" or "field." In 
Irish " Magli " jironounced " Moy :" but 
that can hardly bo the meouiug horo. 



Chap. IV. 

Hie argniueuts adduced in the preceding pages will probably be 
doomed sufficient to make out a strong case to show that these 
great circles were erected, at all event*, after the departure of the 
Komans, and if this is so, it confines the field for diiscussion witliin 
very narrow limits. Either they must have been erected by the 
Romanized Britons before they were so completely Christianized 
aa to be entirely weaned from their Pagan habits, or they were the 
works of the Saxons or Danes. We shall be in a better po8ition 
to judge how far it is likely that the latter were the authors, when 
we have examined the rude stone monnments of Scandinavia or 
Friesland, from which coimtrics tlie Northmen descended on our 
shores. When this is done, we shall probably come to the con- 
clusion that, as they erected Dolmens as burying-plaees for their 
dead, and Menhirs or Bauta Stones and circles in their bnttle- 
fiflds, there is no improbability of their having done so also here. 
The question, however, is, did they erect these great 100-metre 
circles ? These are unique, so far as I know ; a class quite 
by themaelves, and so similar, whether found in Ctimberland or 
IV^rbyshire, or in Wilts or Somersetshire, that, with the jirobuble 
exception of the Orkney group, they must be the work of one 
j)euple, and also nearly of the same age. If, in fact, they do 
nut mark the battlo-fiehls to which I have attempted to ascribe 
thciii, tlioy must mark something nearly appro.ximating to tliem 
iu date, and as nearly aualugous in intcnliou and purpose. 

Smaller Cihclb^ 

It would be as tedious as unprofitable to attempt to enumerate 
all the pnialler circles existing in various parts of England; but 
there are two or three which are curious in theni«elves, and 
interesting as illustrating the large circles of which we have just 
been treating. The first to be mentioned is one situated iu 
Englewood Forest, near Rose Hill, and therefore nearly equi- 
distant from Cumrew, Salkeld, and Carlisle. Lo<'ally, therefore, 
it belongs to the Cumberland group, desciibotl abovi', and nmv do 
80 in date also. It is a low |ilutforin, it can hardly be called a 
tumulus, as it is only 12 ff-et high. It is circular, and measures 
63 feet across. Ou the ]ilalfiirui .>t«nd, oi- at U'ust .stood in 17N7, 

("HAP. IV. 



tUiee bilithons, or groups of two tall stones standing side by side, 
like those in the inuer circle at Stonelienge. Mr, Rooke dug in 
front of one of the?*, with the intention of seeing how deej) it was 
in the ground, but to his astonishmtMit he found a cist formed of 
six perfectly well fitted hewn stones, but raejisiiriug little more 
than 2 feet each way. In front of the other outside group he 
found a similar cist, but a little larger, 2 feet 10 inches by 2 feet 
2 inches, and further removed from the central pair of upright 



9, Bow HiU Tumulni. from tlie Arcbaukigla,' toL x. 

stones, and nearer the centre of the cirr-le, a fhinl cist, formed 
equally of hewn and well fitted stones. In all three of these were 
found human bones, fragments of skulls, teeth, &c., but no imple- 
ments or ornaments of any sort, only under one head a metallic 
lump, with apparently particles of gold in it.^ This was sent to 
the Society of Antiquaries for examination, bnt with what result 

' * ArchiPul«(^iii,' X. pi. xi. |>. KW. 



Chap. IV. 

i» not stiite;!.' xiccording to the plan, it would appear as if there 
were originally six interinents in the inoiiu<l. In fact, that it was 
the PouDterpart of the top of Minniii^ Low, with the acMitiun of 
the pairs of obelisks. Mr. Rooko was, however, so much puzzled at 
finding Dniida buried six feet below the floor of their own temple, 
that he did not seek further. But if the mound still exists, it would 
be very interesting to know if any more cists exist in the raoutid, 
or tiny burial deeper down below them, as in the Derbyshire 
example. It might contain coiuR, and if so, would be interesting 
as another example of its date ; but meanwhile its trnncated con- 
oidal form and arrangement of graves, and of trilithons, are 
sufficient to sliow that it was cotemporary with Minniug Low and 
Stonehenge, or at all events not far from their date. 

In the same paper in which Mr. Rooke describes the Rose 
Hill tnmulus he gives an account of an excavation at a place 
eaikd Aspatria, a little farther westward, and near St. Bees. They 
cleared away a barrow about DO feet in diameter, and at 3 feet 
below the original surface of the ground found a cist in which lay 
the skeleton of a man of gigantic stature. As !ie lay extended, 
he measured 7 feet from the head to the ankle. His feet were 
decayed and rotted off. At hia side, near the shoulder-blade, was 
an iron sword 4 feet in length, the hauille elegantly ornamented 
with inlaid silver tlowers ; a gold Hbula or buckle was also found, 

with portions of the shield and 
his battle-axe. One of the most 
curious things fonnd was the bit 
of a snaiUe-bridle, which is so 
modern -looking that it would 
not excite interest if seen on a 
stall in Seven Dials. The main 
interest resides in its similarity to that which Stukeley foimd 
at Silbury Hill (wootlcnt No, 18, p. 81). He cleaned and polished 
his one carefully. Mr. Rooke had his engraved with all the rust 
upon it, so, nt tirst sight, they are not so similar as they are in 
reality. The fact of tlm one being found in an undoubtedly 

40. Snufflc-Dlt fuuiid «t A»iiatrta. 

' It prubnMy nmy tiuvo bveu n pico.' of iron pyritea, ftnd may bare been UHtnl for 
Ktriking H light. 

OiiAr. IV. 



ancient grave, takes away all prinui fade improbability from the 
snggested age of the other. From its form, St ukf ley's appears 
to be the older of the two; but wo have no chronometric scale 
for bridle-bits, 

All these things make this grave look as if it were very modern; 
but on the outside of the stones forming the cist were engraved a 
variely of ligures which are of interest as a means of comparisou 
with the Irish and Danish engravings we frhall meet with here- 
after, 'i'liey are not very artistically driiwn, and are probably 
worse engraved ; but it is easy to recognize the cross in the circle 

41. Hide Stone, Ai<palrU Ckt. 

There are the concentric circles witli dots in the centre and 
straight lines proceeding from them and other tignrps found on 
rocks nnd elsewhere, which antiquaries have hitherto been 
inclined to ascribe to a primaeval antiquity, but which ibis tomb 
wotild bring down at least to the Viking age — of which more 

The circle of cists on Mule Hill, iii tlie Isle of 3fan, are into- 
resfiiig from another cause; for unforfunately they all have been 
laid liare nnd rifled before any antiquary took cognisance of them, 
and we have consequently notbing by Avlijch their date can be 
even guessed at. Their interest lies in their arrangement, which is 
that of eight cists arranged iu a circle, with, it would seem, others 
at right angles at certain intervals.' From sijnple inspnctioii it is 

' ' ArcliiciloKtu CnnjbriensiB,' third 
wripH vol. xii. p. 51. A fancy (ilnn of 
th" Knmp oirilp npnp«r8 in the same 

volume, but is iitt<?rly untrustworthy, 
It is repro(5«ii-i(i Iw AVaHiip. 'Mnn.'Ap. 
pi. xli. 

Chap. IV, 



many other places was a plat-e lor the dtijujsit of bodies. E.Kcept 
in the instance spoken of in desoribiiig the eirdo at Manlen, I am 
not aware of bodies Laving beoii found in Etifijhiiul under these 
ramparts; but they have not been sought for. Of one thing we 
may feel certain, that nothiuj; is uutqiie in these matters, and that 
trhat occurred once, occurred frequently, and will no doubt be 
found when looked for. 

Another peculiarity of this circle is worth observing. There are 
two gaps or openings in the circle oi)popite one aimther, as at 
Arbor Low and Penrith. One must not rely too much on this, 
as the gaps here may arise from tlio removal of cists ; but the 
coincidence is at least curious, and if we restored this monument 
in the sense just indicated, anrl could rely on that restoration, 
the secret of the vallam surrounding Avebury and other similar 
monuments would no longer be a mystery. To my mind it has 
not been so for many years past ; but though I dai-e not yet ask 
others to follow at once, I trust sufficient evidence has been accu- 
mulated in the preceding pages. to i-ender it probable that they 
were only continuous tumuli. 

The circle or rather circles, on Burn Hlooi, near Wast Water, 
Cumberland, are described by Mr. Williams as consisting of a 100- 
foot circle, formed of forty-four stones, beyond which, at a distance 
of 25 feet is an outer circle of fimrteen large stones. A niche or 
square enclosure on one side of the inner circle contains a 
cairn 25 feet in diameter, and within the circle are four others, 
irregularly spaced, au<l measuring 21 to 25 feet in diameter ; each 
like the circle itself, surrounded by fourteen stones. These, on 
being opened, were found to contain a rude chamber formed of 
five stones, in which were found remains of burnt bones, horns 
of stags, and other animals.' 

One point of interest in this monument is, that it explains the 
existence of a similar square enclosure on one side of a well-kn<nvn 
100-foot circle near Keswick. There la no sign of a cairn there 
now ; it may have been removed, as those at Salkeld were, or it 
may be that the iMidy was interred without this external itnli- 
cation ; but that it lies, or lay, in this enclosure seems certain. The 

' Prowedings of the Povicty of AntiquiiricB,' iii. p. 225. 



Chap. IV. 

priiicii»il reason for referring to it liere is tliat it is luifloubtedly 
sepnlcliral. We shall find many examples equally so further on, 
but it is well, iu tbe meanwhile, to ilhistnde one which certrtinly 
was neither u temple nor place of assembly, nnd which i-ontniiis, 
besides, seveml peculiarities to which we shall have occasion to 
atlvert hereafter. 

. ■ • •• *» 


^ ^ Q ^ 

Orcto on Dura Uoor, rnmbrrUiMl. 

It seems almost equally clear that the Boscawen circles, with 
whieh we dose our illustrations of English circles for the present, 
were neither Temples nor Things. It is very diflk-ult to see how 
any one could fancy that anything so confused as the centre of 
these circles is, oould be a temple, still less a place of assembly. 
But Borlase, though generally admitting the sepiiUhral nature of 
the eirrles, maiutiiins that this one wa« a ten<j>!e, and de.<!cribes the 

ftlAP. IV. 



iition of the serving Druids and all the ceremonies down to 
the minutest particulars. The circles are small, the largest being 
only 75 feet in diameter, and the whole group only 200 feet across, 
neither are the stones by any means of iniposicji; dimensions. 

































m » 

* « 

• .0 

Boicawcn Clrrlt*. Krain norlaar. 

A-iiother circumstance worthy of beiug noticed, is that there are 
detached stones in front of the principal circles. Interesting 
results might bo obtained by excavating at their bases, as, for 
reasons above statcfl, it seems as if the j)riui'Ipal interment might 
be foimd at their feet. 


As stated above, England seems to be the native country of 
the great circles, no 100-metre circles having yet been fonnd 
anywhere out of England, excepting, of conrse, that at Stennis. 
France, on tiie contrar)', seems to be the native country of the 
dolmens. They exist there in numbers far Ijeyond anything we 
oin show, and of (liraeusions exceeding anything we can boast 
of. In England proper, when we have enumerated Kit's Cotty- 
house, the dolmen in Clatford Bottom, "Wayland Smith's Cave, 
that at Rollright, and one at Drewsteignton, in Devonshire, our 



Chap. IV. 

list is nearly exhausteil. Tfiere may be heaps of stones which 
seem dolmens, or something like them ; and ehambered tumuli, 
whose internal l^istvaens, if ex|K)?etl, might be entitled to rank 
with dolmens; but, taking the word in its broad sense, it is ditlicult 
to carry our list beyond the half-dozen. 

In Cornwall the caso is different. In the corner to the westward 
of Ftihnouth there are at leiist twice aa many as in all England. 
In Wales, I think I could ennraerate twice aa many as in Corn- 
wall ; and in Anglesea ' there are certainly as many as in 
Cornwall, perhaps more ; and in the Isle of Man they are also 
numerous. It ia dilHoidt to be precise, as the same monument is, 
sometimes at least, recorded under two names ; but it ia not aa 
exaggeration to say that from fifty to sixty have been described, 
and most of them figured, as found in t!ie West country, and I 
should not be surprised if an iudnstrious statistician carried the 
number to 100, including, of course, many that are now ruinous. 

There are two points of view from which this geographical dis- 
tribution of English dolmens may be regardeJ. The first and 
most obvious would bo to consider that they were erected by the 
Britons after they were driven into the mountain fastnesses of 
the West, first by the Eomans, and more completely afterwards by 
the Saxons. The other view would be that they are the work of a 
different race, who, we have every reason to believe, occupied the 
western country in the time of the Eomans. Tacitns is particu- 
larly ex[»licit on this point, lie divides the inhabitants of the 
country into three classo8. Tlie red-haired Caledonians, resembling 
the Germans and inhabiting tlie north ; the Silures, of dark 
complexion and curling hair, and whom he describes as living 
in that part of the country which is opposite Spain, and 
he suggests that the ancient Iberians crossed over and occupied 
these regions; and he then adds: "Those nearest to Gaul 
are similar to the inhabitants of that country."' There is so 
much in the present aspect of tlu^ pef)]i!e of this country to 
conjirm this general classification that there seems very little 
reason for doubting its general correctness; and as all these 

' The Hon, W, 0. Stanley ennniemtes by same twenty-four in Anglesea. — 
' ArchiuolognA Cambrf^sic,' fourth fteric^, ynl, i. p. 68. 
' THcituB, ' Vila Ag^coltB,' chap. v. 

Chap. IV. 



dolmens are found in the country of the Sflurea it may be argiied 
that they beIon<^ to them. If he liad joined the Aquitauians to 
Iberians he would probably have expressed more completely the 
whole fact-s of the case as we now know them. 

Admitting, however, this ethnographic view of the ease to the 
fullest possible extent — which I am prepared to do, it still leaves 
the question of date wholly unsettled. It would be answered if we 
dared to assume that the Silures were driven from the fertile 
parts of the valley of the Severn, which we have reason to suppose 
they occupied in Agricola's time, to the mountain fastnesses, and 
that it was then only that they began to repeat in stone what 
previously they had only erected in earth. If this could be 
established, we should get both an etlniographical and a chrono- 
logical determination of no small value; but of this we shall be 
better able to form an opinion after discussing the monuments 
of France. 

Meanwhile there is one point bearing upon the subject to which 
it may be iis well to draw attention. In Wales and Angleaea, 
L-h we may assume to have been the country of the Silures 
"or that to which they were driven, there are no circles, but only 
dolmens. In Cornwall, where the blood was certainly more mixed, 
there are both circles and dolmens, and the same is the case at 
the other extremity of the western district in the Isle of 3Ian. 

If it is contended that, being nearer to Spain or Aquitaine 
than Wales, C(prnwall must have been earliest and most exclusively 
Inhabited by the dark race, the answer is, that though it may 
originally have been so, the races in Cornwall had been mixed 
with Celtic and other blood before the age of the stone monu- 
ments ; while in the Isle of Man we shall probably see reason for 
believing that northern blood was infused into the veins of the 
people, at a very early age, when few, if any, monuments of this 
class existed, and certainly before all had been completed. 

Even a cursory examination of these West Coast dolmens would, 
I think, be sufficient to prove to any one tliat the theory that all 
were originally covered with earthen mounds is utterly untenable. 
That sucli chambered graves as those at Uley in Gloiicesterslure,' 

' • Somerset AM-hieo. 80c. Procwdings," viii. p. ."51. 

M 2 

164 ^^^" KNGLAND. Chap IV. 

or Stoney Littleton iu Somersetehire,' were always iutended to be 
so covered up is clear enough. So was tliie one at Park Cwn, in 
tlie peninsula of Gower, recently opened and described by Sir 
John Lubhuck,* It is of the same type as Uley and Stoney 
Littleton, but hns only four chambers arranged on each Hide of the 



Piirk Cwn Tuunliu. SctM 1« liwt to I Inch. 

central passage. One of its most remarkable characteristics is 
the beautiful masonry of the retaining wall.s on each side of the 
funnel-shaped passage leading (o the cells. ITiese are so carefully 
built that it is evident thiit they were meant to bo seen, and 
the entrance to be kept open. Indeed, unless we fancy it was the 
moDumeDt of some fight, which tlicre seems no reason for supposing, 

' ' Aichicologin,' xix. p. 43 et teqq. 

• 'Journal nf ilic Elhnologictil Society,' .Inminrv, 1871, p. \\G. 

Chap. IV. 



it is evident it must have been kept open till forty deaths had 
occurrefl in the family of the chief to which it served aa sepulchre, 
as at least that number of liodies were found in the chambers, 
but in ft dreadfully fonfusfd condition, as if the grave bad 
been rifled before, but no implements or trace of metal were left 
to indicate even approximately its age. 

At Uley, in Gloucestershire, half way between Berkeley and 
Telbury, there is a tumulus which, in its internal arrangement, is 
very similar to that last described. The entrance is of the same 
form, and there are four side-cbambera ; but those at Uley are 
grouped more artistically in the centre, instead of being separated 
by a passage, as at Park Cwu. Externally the diflerences are 
more apparent ; llio Gloucestershire example being oblong, or 
rather heiut-shaped, while that in Gower is more circular in form. 
The Uley tumulus was tirst opened by a Mr. Baker, in 1S21, but 
subsequently examined Avith great care by Dr. Thurnam; and a 
very careful account, resulting from his own observation compared 
with the records of Mr. Baker's, pulilished by him in the 'Archteo* 
logical Jourudl.' ' The bodies iu the ehambci's, Avhich were 
numerous, had been disturbed and were lying in disorder, as at 
Park Own; but among them was found a vessel resembling a 
Roman lai'hrymatoiy, and some pottery which may have been 
either Eomanu-British or Mediasval. Tliure were al.*!0 found 
some fragments of flint implements, apparently arrow-heads, and 
outside two stone axes — one of flint. Near the summit of the 
mound, exactly over the easternmost chumber, there had been 
another interment, and beside tlie skeleton were found three brass 
coins of the sons of Coustantinc the Great. 

On this evidence, Dr. Thurnam, wilb the approval probably of 
every antiquary in England, comes to the conclusion that the 
original erection of the chauibered tumulus belongs to the long 
prehistoric past ; that the pottery, &o., were accidentally intro- 
duced; and that the coins belong to a secondary post-Roman 
intennent. The only evidence for this being tlie presence of the 
flints above mentioned, and the assumptions based on them ; they 
having become articles of faith with antiquaries which it is rank 

Vol. xi. p. 315 et $aqq. 


Chap. IV. 

heresy to dispute. As I liave already stated, till some one can 
show at what period flint ceased to be tised in any particular 
locality, this evidence is wortlile.-a. Witli regard to the secondary 
interments, it appeni-s to be inconceivable that, after the lapse 
of 500 or 600 years at least, and the civilizing influence of the 
Roman orcnpation, any one should choose the top of one of 
the mounds of the loiig-forgotten pagan savages for a burying- 
place. If burying iu barrows had Ix^en the fashion in Gloucester- 
shire, as it was on the wolds of Yorkshire or the downs of 
Wiltshire, something might bo said in favour of such an hypo- 
thesis if we could also assume that the races had been undisturbed 
in the interval. But there are hardly half-a-dozen tumuli in the 
whole county. They, like Ulcy, Ilodmarton,* Stoney Littleton,* 
are all chanibiiroil tumuli of one class and apparently of one age. 
All too, it may bo remarked, arc close to lioman stations and 
surrounded by evidences of Roman occupation. 

In the previous pages we have already met with several 
instances of summit interments, as at Gib Hill, 3Iinning Low, &c, 
which are certainly not secondary, and we have reason to suspect 
that more will bo foiind when looked for; and the finding of 
Roman coins on or near the top of tumuli is too frequent to be acci- 
dental, and occurs even in Ireland, where tbo llornaus never went. 

We shall have occasion to recur tc this subject when speaking 
of the tomb of King llarald IliMetand at Lcthra, and then 
propose to treat it more in dntail ; but meanwhile it seems clear 
that the evidence of the coins and the jwttery must be allowed to 
outweigh tbat of the flints ; and if this is so, not only Uley but 
all the chamber-tumuli iu Gloucestershire or Somerset belong 
either to the Romano-lhitish, or rather to the post-Roman period 
of British history. 

Another and even more interesting example of this class has 
recently been brought to light by the Hon. W. O. Stanley, 
at Plas Newj'dd, not far from the great dolmen represented 
on woodcut No. 50.' It is a chamber or cist, 3 feet 3 inches 

' *Fru. 8uc. Anl.,' iiecoud ocrics, ii 
275. Tliitniiufi, ' Affbayjlngia,' xlii. 

* * Arcbnologio,' xix, p. 43. 

• ' Arcliteologia Oaiul>ren»iii,' fourth 
w-Ties vol. i. p. 51 ei »€•</(/. 



Chap. IV. 

two holes that were pierced in tlie slab that closed the entrance. 
The upper part of this slab is now broken off, but so much remains 
that it is easy to see that they woro originally circular and about 
10 inches iu diameter. Such huled stones are very Impient 
in Eastern dolnions, and are also common in Cornwall and 
elsewhere ;^ but what their purpose may have been has not yet 
bren exjdaincJ. Further on it may hn attfuiptod. At present it 
is the relation of this form of cliambereJ tumuli to external 
dolmens that principally interests us. 

Almost all the so-called dolmens in the Channel Islands are of 
this class. One has already been given (woodcut No. 11), and 
it nmv safely be asserttid tliat all chambers which were waiiis- 



It. nolmcn *t Peolre Ibii. Vrauk • ArclwolnnU CudIhviuU-' 

coted with slabs, so as to form nearly perfect walls, and all that 
had complicated quasi-vaulted roofs were, or were intended to bo, 
covered with mouuds- — more especially those that had covered pas- 
sages leading to them. Tbere is, however, a very wide distinction 
between these sepulchral chambers and such a monumi-nt as this 
at Pentre Ifan, in Pembrokeshire.' Tbc top stone is so largo 
that it is said five persons on horseback have found shelter under 

' For Kmlniiirtoii, Deo * Pniceediuga B>k. Ant.' L$, e. : for Cornish, tno paper by 
M. Brash, 'f Jen t. Mur.; 1«64. 
' ' Axdiivologiu Ctunbtcneiis' third terioa, xi. p. zS4. 




it from a shower of rain. Even allowing that the horses were 
only Welsh ponies, men do not raise such iniuses and poise them 
on their points for the sake of hiding- thoin again. Besides that, 
the supports do not and could not form ti chamber. The earth 
would have ftJlen in on all sides, and the connexion between the 
roof and tlje floor been cut off entirely, even before the whole waa 
uompletcil. Or, to take auotlier e.xaraple, that at Plas Newydd, 
on the shore of the Menai Strait. Here the cap stone is an 
enormous block, squared by art, supported ou four stone legs, but 
with no pretence of forminj!;^ a chamber. If the cap stone were 


l«.J4u. „ 

i ..In iNewydd. From ' Arcbaolog'A Cunbreiuls.' 

merely intended as a roofing stone, one a third or fourth nf its 
weight would have been equally serviceable and equally ellective 
in an architectural point of view, if buried. The modo of archi- 
tectural expression which these Stone' men best understood was 
the power of mas.s. At Stonehenge, at Avebnry, and everywhere, 
as here, they sought to give dignity and expr&s.sion by using 
the largest blocks they could transport or raise — and they vrere 
right; for, in spite of their rudeness, they impress us now; but 
had they buried them in mounds, they neither would have 
impressed us nor their eon tern porarios. 

As before mentioned, however, the great argument against the 
theory of their having been always covered up is the impossibility 
of accounting for the disappearance of the tumuli. If they had 
been situated on fertile plains whore the land wtis valuable for 



Chap. IV. 

agricultural purposes, it might be assumed tbat a civilized people 
with liiglily cultivated antiquarian tastes might have been at the 
trouble and expense of removing the tiininli fur the sake of the 
land, and of preserving the dolmens for their historical value. But 
that the i-ude peasantry of Cornwall and Wales should have done 
thia ia inconceivable, more especially as by far tlie greater number of 
these momimenta are situated on bleak moorlands of no agricultural 
value whatever. Still more inconceivable is it that they should have 
done it so neatly and so carefully that no trace of the mound can 
now be found either around the stones or in tlie neighbourhood. 

If any history were attached to these Western dolmens, or 
any remains had been found under them which would enable us 
to fix their dates, even approximately, or to arrange them in 
any inteliigible sequence, it might be worth while recajiitulnting 
their names or illustrating their forms. Nothing of the sort, ]>ow- 
ever, has yet been attempted j and apparently no materials exist 
from which any such series could be elaborated. 

Only one dolmen in Wales, so far as I know, bears a name ; bat 

I /l^ 


II. ArtbaT'i Qnoil, Gowtr. From • drawing by >\t onrdnn WnUnnn. 

it is the illustrious one of King Arthur. The dolmen bearing his 
name is situated in the |K?ninsula of Gower, on the northern slopes 

Chap. IV. 



of the bleak Bryn Cefn, about ten miles west from Swansea.* It 
forms the centre of a very extensive group of monuments — eighty 
cairns, at least, are still to be counted in an area less than half a 
mile in length, by a quarter of a mile in width. These are mostly 
small, 12 to 15 feet in diameter; one, 20 feet across, was opened 
by Sir Gardner Wilkinson, but proved to contain no interment. 
The largest is 68 feet in diameter, but has not been opened. About 
350 feet from this is the dohaeu. The cap stone is 14 feet B inches 
iu length, 7 feet 5 inches in height, nnd feet 8 inches iu breadth 



»L FUb of Artliiu'i Qoott. 

even now, bat a very large piece has been broken off, and now lies 
beside it, measuring upwards of 3 feet in thickness ; and another 
piece seems to have been broken oft* on the other end, so that when 
complete it must have weighed between 35 and 40 tons. It rested 
originally on ten or eleven upright stones, two of which, however, 
have fallen, and only four now touch the cap stone. Sir Gardner 
is of opinion that it once was covered with a tumulus ; but this 

' Tlie following pftrtifulnrs nru taken 
from a pftjier by .Sir J. Gnrdner Wilkin- 
iou, ill the flnit voltiinp, iVnirth ^rius, of 
th<3 'Aiclinologia Cumbrciuits' il^'O. 11 

ia not only the liut, but llu> be^t ilmicrip- 
tion whicli I know, aud, beiug from thv 
ptni nf m iiccuntto nn olwcrver, I have 
ri'liiid ou it csoluslvely. 


Chaf. IV. 

appeoi-s very doubtful. The slight mound, backed up with large 
stones, that now enrrotinds it, with ti dianieter of 73 to 74 feet, 
Heems an enclosure more like that of Hob Hurst's House (woodcut 
No. 53) than the remains of a tumulus, ami till 8<ime further 
evidence is adduced, we must be allowed to doubt whether any cap 

C3. Hob Hunt'* Honw!, on Baatow Moor, DcrlTthlre. Frum a dniKlng by Thomn Batrnian.' 

atone on legs was ever so treated. Sir Gardner traced, doubtfully, 
an avenue, of which, however, only five stones now remain, ex- 
lending to about COO feet in a direction that would have passed 
the dolmen on the north, as thnt at Shap did the circle at its 
front, or the lines at Merivale Bridge, the circle still found there ; 
Sir Ganluer also points out some small eircnlar enclosures, wlnV'h, 
from the analogy of those found on l>artnii>or, ho assumes to 1j<j 

What, then, is this group of nionumentfi ? Sir Gardner assumes 
that it is a cemetery of the ancient Britons; but, if so, why are 
not other cemeteries found in the fertile valleys and plains in South 
Wales? Why did they choose one of the barest and bleakest hill- 
sides, and one farthest reraoved^rom their habitations as a place in 
which to bury their <]ead? Why did they not, like the irdiaUitants 
of Salisbury I'laiii, disperse their gravt-s pretty equally over an area 
of 30 miles by 10? Why crowd them into less than half-a-mile? 
Without reverting to my previous suggestion of a battle-field, I do 
not see how these (juestions can be answered ; and if so, I do not 
thitik we have far to go to look for its name ? As hinted alxne, 
Arthur's eighth battle must have been fought in Wales. The 
name of the place is written Guin (Gwyn), Guinon, Gutnnoii, 
Gunin'on,* which certainly is Welsh ; and when we find it imme- 


* Ten Yconi' Diggings,' p. 87. 

' Drto one •u^gi-kt CiowM ? 

Chap. IV. 



diately preceding the battle of Caerleon on the Uskj uiul tlie prin- 
cipal ijionuuieiit stiil bearing Arthur's name, we may fairly, I think, 
adopt the suggestion till, at least, a better is offered. 

Be this as it uiay, I think all untiquurtes will agree with Sir 
Gardner ^Vilkil^son iu assuming that this is the stone of Cetti ' 
mentioned in the Welsh triads. ' Tiie 8 -Ith Triad ' speaks of the Cot 
of Eminrys iu Caer Caradawg (another name for Salisbury), and 
the 88th of the three mighty nohievements of the Isle of Britain, 
the raising of the stone of Cetti, tlie building of the work of Enimrys, 
and the heaping of the pile of Cy vragnon.* The work of Emmrya 
(Ambrosias) is generally admitted to be Stonehonge. If this is 
the stone of Cetti, which I see no reason fur doubting, it only 
remains to identify the third. Most antiquaries suggest Silbury 
Hill ; and, if I am correct in placing these tliree monuments so 
near oue another iu date, this seems also extremely jtrobable, and 
so far as it goes, is a satisfactory coufirmatiuu of what has been 
advanced above from other sources. 

From my ignorance of tho Welsh language I am nut in a 
jKisition to say what amoimt of reliance should be pluei'd in the 
evidence of these triads. But Herbert and oth<'r competent 
scholars consider it undoubted that Emmrys is Ambrusius, and 
the * Work ' referred to certaiuly Stonehenge. If this is so, it 
fixes its date beyond question, and us the other two are meu(i(jned 
in the same breath it is probable they were not distant in date. 
All this may be, I believe certainly is so, but the circumstantial 
evidence adduced above seems to me so much clearer and so 
nnich more to be relied upfjn, that it derives very little additional 
force from the utterance of the ^\'elsh bards. It is, however, no 
doubt satisfactory that their evideaice coincides with everything 
that has been brought forward aliove, as be^iring directly or 
indirectly on their age or use. 

Before prooee<iing, it may be as well to revert for one moment 
to Hob Hurst's House. It is quoted here to show how a tumulus, 
with a dolmen on the top of it, may be connected with a low rani- 

' Lb this the aome word as " Clotty," an applied to Kit a Cott.v-bout«, in Kent ? 
It liKika very like it. — Cojty ? * Herlx'rt, 'Oj-clops t'hrlstiuntiH.' p. 35. 



Chap. IV. 

part so as not to conceal it, exactly, I believe, as is the case with 
Arthur's Quoit. But the name of tlie place where it ia situated 
may affonl a hint which may lead to somethinfr hereafter. It will 
be recollected that Arthur's sixth battle was fought " super fliimen 
quod voeatur Ba&sas." This mound is situated on "Bas" Moor, 
the Low beinu; merely the name of the mound itself. 
nomiual similarities are too treacherous to be relied upon ; but 
the more the whole <,n-oup is looked at the more does it appear 
that there are coineiilenccs of name, or form, or purpose, between 
those monuments here called Arthurian, wiiich cannot all be 
accidental. Individually they may not be able to resist hostile 
criticism, but in their cumulative form they appear to me to make 
up a very strong case indeed. 

If any of the other dolmens in the West had even so good a title 
to a date as Arthur's Quoit, it might be possible to arrange thera 
in a series ; but us none have even traditional dates, all we can 
now do is to suggest that the dolmen at Plas Newydd (woodcut 
No. 50) is of about tho same age as Arthur's Stone: perhaps 
something more modem, as it is more carefully squared ; but this 
may arise from the one being a battle-stone, the other a peaceful 
sepulchre. In like manner it would seem that such an exaggerated 
form as Pentre Ifan (woodcut No. 49) is a " tour do force " of a still 
more modern date ; and if we could get one certainly older than 
any of these, a tentative scheme could be constructed which might 
lead us to satisfactory results. 

i by no means despair of being able eventually to construct such 
a scheme of classifiration, and, even before this Work is t'ont-Inded, 
to make it tolerably clear that the thing is possible, and then it 
will only remain, if one or two fixed or probable dates can be 
ascertained, to bring the whole within the range of historical 

Chap. V, 





M o y T D n A. 

It is probable, after all> that it is from the Irish aunala that the 
greatest amount of light will be thrown on the history and uses of 
the ^fegalithic luoQuments, Indeed, hiui not Lord ilelbourne's 
Ministry in 1839, in a fit of ill-timed parsimony, abolished the 
Historical Commission attivched to the Irish Ordnance Survey, we 
should not now be groping in the dark. Had they even retained 
the services of Dr. Fttrie till the time of his death, lie would have 
left Tery little to be desired in tliis respect. But nothing of the sort 
was done. The fiat went forth. All the documents and informa- 
tion collected during fourteen years' labour by a most competent 
staff of explorers were cast aside — all the members dismissed on 
the shortest possible notice, and our knowledge of the ancient 
history and antiquities of Ireland thrown baok half a century, 
at least.' 

Meanwhile, however, a certain number of the best works of the 
Irish annalists have been carefully translated and edited by John 
O'Donovan and othors, and are .stifficient to enable any one not 
acquainted with Irish to check the wild speculations of antiquaries 
of the Valiancy and O'Brien class, and also to form an opinion on 
the value of the annals themselves, though hardly yet sufficient to 
enable a stranger to construct a reliable scheme of chronology or 
history out of tlie heterogeneous materials presented to him. We 
must wait till some second Petrio shall arise, who shall possess a 
sufficient knowledge of the Irish language and literature, without 
losing his Saxon coolness of judgment, before we can hope to 
poBsess a reliable and consecutive account of ancient Ireland. 

Stnkee. ' Life of Petrio;' London, 18C8, p. 99 ft teqq. 



Chap. V. 

When this is done, it will probnbly he found that the Irish 
fKHiscHs a more copious litomture, illHstrative of the eocene period 
of their early higtory, than almost any other country of Enrope. 
Jrelanil may also Ixiast that, never liaving been conquered by 
the llomans, she retained her native forms, and the people their 
native cnstoms and faaliiona, nninternipted and niiiiifliienced by 
Roman civilization, for a longer titno than the other countries of 
Europe wliieh were subjected to its sway. 

As most important and instructive parts of the Irish annals, it 
is projtosed first to treat of those passages descriptive of the two 
battles of Moytnra' (Magh Tuireadh), Iwth of which occurred 
within a j)eriod of a very few years. A description of the fields 
on which they were ibught will probably be sufficient to set at 
rest the question as to the uses of cniras and circles; and if we 
can mrive at an approximative date, it will go far to i-kar up tlie 
difficulties in understanding the age of the most important Irish 

'J'lie narrative which contains an account of the battle of Suuthern 
Moytura, or Moytura Cong, is well known to Irish antiquaries. 
It has not jet been publishetl, but u translation from a SIS. in 
Trinity College, Dublin, was made by John O'Douovan for the 
Ordnance JSurvey, and was ol)tainL;d from their records above 
alluded to by Sir William Wilde. He went over the baltle-field 
repeatedly with the 518. in his hand, and has published a detailed 
ait'ount of it, with suflicient extracts to make the whole intelligible.* 
The story is brielly tliis: — At a certain j>eriod of Irish history u 
colony of Firlolgs, or Lelgto, as they are usually called by Irish 
antiquaries, settled in Ireland, dispossessing the Fonioriaus, who 
are said tn have come from Africa. After possessing the country 

* In the follovring pages it ia proposed 
to follow ttic popular and pronoance«ble 
»I>cUing of Irisli pro|)or nuinp«. One 
liiilf iif the ilitticully of following Uie 
Irish antiaU is the uufiuniliiLr and un- 
couth moiio in whicli proper nainca are 
spelt, niid which we Icaru, from Kugeno 
O'Ciirry « lectures, never repreaenU the 
Diode in which they are pronounced. 
In n Icijimcd work intended for Irish 
RcholurB, like the 'Annida of the Four 

Mnstora,' the scientific mode of spelling 
is, of course, the only one that rould he 
adiiptcd, but in Hurh a work lu thii! it 
would be only useless end pn-jndioial 

' 'Lough Corrib, its Shores and 
Isliinds.' Dublin. 18C7. Sir William 
puBseases a reBidence nu the bnttlL'-Ucld, 
when; I was hospitably entertained for 
some days when I visitM that neigh- 
bourhood lA<»t yr«r. 

OwAr. V. 



for tliirty-seven years, tliey were in tlieir turn attacked by a colnuy 
jf Tuntlia (le Dnuaniis coining finm ilic north, said to be of the same 

[ race and speaking a tongue luutujilly intelligible. On hearing of 
the arrival of these strangers, the Firbolgs adTanced irom t1iL> jilaius 
of Meath as far as Cong, sitiifiti-d betwefiii Lojigli Cnrriii and Loiigh 
Mask, where the first battle was fought, ajid, after being fiercely 
contested for four days, was decided in favour of the invaders.* 

Tl)e second battle vas fmtglit seven years afterwards, near Sligo* 
under rircuujjjtances whieli will be <letailed more fully below. 
nnd resulted eqnally in favotir of the Tuatha de Panunns, and 
they in consequence obtained possession of the country, which, 
according to the Funr Masters, they held for 107 years.' 

The field on which the four-days' battle of h'outhern Moylurn 
was fought extends from five to six miles north and south. Near 
the centre of the space, and nearly opfosife the village of Cong, 
is a group of five stone circles, one of which, 54 feet iu diameter, 

I is represented iu the annexed woodcut (No. 54). Another, very 






Si, Circltr CO BatU(>-Oelil ur Soutbcro Mo^lun. Frnn Sir W. WiMe. 

similar, is close by; and a third, krger but partially ruined, is 
within a few yards of the first. The other two can oidy now be 
traced, and two more are said to liave existed closfs by, but have 
entirely disapi)eared. On other parts of the battle-field there are 
six or seven large cairns of stone, all of them more or less ruined, 

' These, and all the pnrticulara of the 
hnltln iif fiotitli Moytuni, t»rc tulce-n from 
the eightli c'lui|iU'r of Sir W. Wilrlr'g 
\, P|>. 211-248. and need not, Utere- 

fore, Tjc »p<;cmlly referred to. 

• * Annala f>f the Four Masfcrs,' tmris- 
lated liy J. O'Donovnn,' i. p. 23. 




Chap. V. 

the stones having been used to build dykee, with which every 
field i^ surrounded in this country ; but none of them have l»een 
soientifieally explored. One is reprusonted (woodcut Nu. 55). Sir 
\V. Wilde has idoutifiod all of these fis connected with incidents 
in the buttle, and there seems no reason to doubt hia conclusions. 
The most interesting, however, is one connected with an incident 
in the battle, which is worth relating, as illustrating the manner 
in which the mouuineuts C(>rroborate the histcry. On the morning 
of the second day of the battle, King Eochy retired to a well to 
refresh himself with a Lath, when three of his enemies looking 
down, recognised hiin and demanded hia surrender. While ho 


Colin oil ItatUc^rii'lJ pf Southnm Morluni 

was parleying vith them, they were attacked by his servant 
and killed; but the servant died immediately afterwards of bis 
wounds, and, as the story goes, was interred with idl honours iui 
a cairn close by. In the narrative it is said that the well where 
the king had so narrow an escape is the otdy open unc in the 
neighbourlj<x>d. It is so to the present day ; for the peculiarity of 
tJ»e country is, that the waters (vom Lungh Mask do not tlow into 
Lough Corrib by channels on the surface, but entirely through 
chasms in the rock underground, and it is only when a crack in 
the rock opens into one of these that the water is accessible. The 
well in question is the only one of these for some distance in 
which the water is approached by stejjs partly cut in the rock, 
partly constructed. Close by is a cairn (woodcut No. 66), called 
to this day the "Cairn of the One 3Ian." It was opened by Sir 
W. Wilde, and in its chambi^r was found one urn, which is now 

\Cbat. V. 



I deposited in the Museum of the Royal Academy at DuLliii, the 
' excavutiou thus confirming the murativo in the most satisfactory 
" The battle took place on Midsummer day. The Firbolgs were 




it. Thv Cklro of the "One Mu," Mojlor*. 

defeated with great slaughter, and their king, who left the battle- 
field with ft bocly-giJard of 100 brave men in search of water to 
allay his burning thirst, was followed by a party of 150 men, led 
by the three sons of Nemeilli, who pursued him all the way to 
the etrand, called Traigh 

Kothaile, near Bnllysadare, in ■^rff-rrt^^s^v, S"^'S;'^.$^J''S'':^ »^?x<<; 

! the county of Sligo. Here 
a fierce combat ensueil, find 
King Eochy (Eochaidh) fell, 
as well as the leaders on the 
other side, the three sons of 
Nemedh."' A cairn is still 
pointed out ou a promontory 
jutting into the hay, about a 
raiJe north-west of the village 
of Ballysadare, which is said 
to have been erected over 
the remains of the king, and bones are also said to have been found 
between high and low water on the strand beneath, supposed to 
be those of the eombatante who fell in the final struggle. It 

57. Um kn Ihe Csirn of lliu "Unc Uim," Uoyliini. 

' RtiptnnA 0't;iirry"» 'Mntprialu for Ancient frii-h Tlistory,' p, 24fi, 

N 2 



Chap. V. 

may be otherwise, but there is a consistency between the narrative 
and the monuments on tho spot wliich ciin hardly be accitlenfiil. 
and whii^h it will be very dillimlt to explain except in the 
aissiitnptiou that they refer to the same events. 

In fact, it would be difBcnlt to eoneeive anything more satis- 
faetory and confirmatory of the record tlmn the moniinicnts on the 
plain ; and no one, I fancy, could go over the field with Sir William's 
book in his hand, without feeling the importance of his identifi- 
cations. Of course it may be suggested that the book was written 
b)' some one familiar witii the spot, to suit the localities. The 
probability, however, of this having been done before the ninth 
century, and done so soberly and so well, is very remote, and the 
guess that but one urn would be found in the eaim of the " One 
Man," is a greater piece of luek than could reasonably ha exiiected. 
Even, however, if the book was written to suit the localities, it 
will not invalidate the fact that a great battle was fought on this 
spot, and that these cairns and these circles mark the graves of 
those who fell iu the tight. 

Tlie collection of monuments on the battle-field of Northern 
Moytura is even more interesting than that on Moytura Cong, and 
almost justified the a'^sertion of Petrie "that, excepting the monu- 
meuts at Curnac, iu Brittany, it is, even in its present state of 
ruin, the largest assemblage of the kind hitherto discovered in the 
world."' They have also this advantage, that the principal grouji, 
consisting of some sixty or sevejity mouutiients, are situatpd on 
an elevated table-land, and in an area extending not more than 
a mile in one direction, and about half a mile in another. The 
country, too, is much leas stony than abuut Cong, so that the 
monuments stand out bftter and have a more imjiosing look. 
Petrie examined and described sixty-four nionnnients as situated 
in or around this space, and came to the conclusion that originally 
there could not have been less than 200.' My impression is that 
there may have been 100, hut hardly more, though, of course, this 
is only a guess, and the destruction of tliem is going on so rapidly 
that he may bo right after all. 

In the 8|)ace above described almost every variety of Megalithic 

StnkM, ' Li(e of Vettiv,' p. 253. 

' /. c. p. 242. 

Cbap. V. 



art is to be fouuJ. There aio stone cairns, with dolmens in their 
interiors — dolmens standing alone, but which havo been evidently 
always exposed; dolmens 
with single circles ; others 
with two or three circles of 
stones around theui ; and 
circles without dolmens or 
anything^else in tUecentres. 
The only form we miss is 
the avenue. Nothing of the 
sort can now, at least, be 
traced, nor does it seem 

that any of the circles -' ^^>■'>■>'"">'■ q 

possessed such appendages. 
The annexed woodcut 
(No. 58) will explain the 
disposition of the priiwijtal 
group. It is taken from 
the Ordnance Survey, and 
is perfectly correct as far 
as it goes, but being only 
on the (i-inch scale, is too 
small lo show the form 
of the monuments.' lu 
tlie centre is, or nitlier 
was, a great cairn, called 
Listoghil. It is marked by 
Fetrie as No. 51, but having iur years been used as a quarry for 
the neighbourhood, it ia now so mined that it is difficult to make 
otit either its plan or dimensions. Petrie says it is 150 feet in 




RiitUr-flrlil of Noithmi Moytun. 
Sciilu « Incba to I lullr. 

' r rpgrpt Yery much tlmt the stnte of 
my bealUi, ami othir eirciinisluiiccs, pro- 
vtTited niy nmppin^ anil ilrawnig tbcao 
remains, bnt I hnfic fmme oorur>C'tent 
person will undertake tlie t^uk before 
IcHig. C'arrowrnoro is more oasily aretit- 
tiblt' tlmn Cariiivc. Tho iiins at .Sligo 
lUA iH'ltcr tlian those at Aiiroy, the 
rrxnalnN ure wilbin tliree miles of ihc 

town, nnd the scenery nww Sligo is 
far moru Ix-Mitifiil than llmt uf the 
Morbihan ; yet LtuidrcfLt uf our country- 
men rush nnnually to the French niegfa- 
lilLs, lind lirinj,' honw sketcli-books full 
of views and mriwureriionls, but no one 
thinks uf tho nmnuments. iiud no 
vidva of them exist that uro in ony way 
Kcct'ssible to iUv public. 



Chap. V; 

diameter; I made it 12U. It was surrounded by a {*ircle of great 
stones, within vvhidi wjw tlie cairn, originally, i)r«.>brt^)ly. 40 or 50 feet i 
high. All (his hus b<!eu reniovcxl to such an extent as to expose 
the kistvaen vv dultnen in its centre. Its cap stone is 10 feet 
square and 2 feet thick, and is of limestone, as are its supports. 
All the other iiionnnients are conipused of granite boulders. 
"Those who iirst o|)eiied it Jissert that they found nothing within 
but burnt wood and human bones. The half-calcined bones of 
horses and other animals were and are still found in this cairu 
in great quantities" (Petrie, p. 250). lu a note it is said that a large, 
spear-head of stone {Hint ?) was also found in this cairu. 

The annexed woodcut (No. 59) will give au idea of the general 
disposition of a circle numbered 27 by Petrie.' It is of about the 

medium size, being (30 feet 

g^A^^ in diameter. The general di- 

0* ^^ mensions of the circles are 40, 

t _. % 60, 80, and one (No. 46) is 120 

^ ,■■ ^^ ^L feet in tliameter. The outer 

/ tB y % circleof No. 27is comiH)sed of 

large stones, averaging 6 feet 
in height, and some 20 feet 
in eirouuiforence. Inside this 
is a circle of smaller stones, 
Dearly obliterated by the 
turf, and in the centre is a 
three-chambered dolmen, of 
which fifteen stones still 
remain; but all the cap 
stones, except that of the 
central inner chamber, are gone, and that now stands on its edge 
in front of its support. 

The general appearance of this circle will be understood from the 
annexed view (wncMlout No. 60), taken from a photograph. It does 
not, however, do justice to its appearance, ils the <'amera was placed 
too low and does not look into the circle, as the eyo does. In the 



W. 8k«td)-ta*i) of circle 2T. Norttiem Majriiira. 

■ It is unfortunaU'ly only an t-yo- | ftton^a oiiUiiJ<>, thnt Iriok like tli« rndi- 
(ketch, htirrip.lly lukoii, anil lhii» tmt to nieuls "? thf nvrnuc, I Uikv to ninrk 
^le implicitly ik-jfuilud U|kiii. Tht' two I nuly an cxlcrnul intcrnioiit, 

Chai'. V. 



distance is seen the liill, i-ulltd Knock na Kca, surmoanted by the 
so-called Cairn of Queen Meave, of wliieli more hereafter. 


Xitw of Ciprlfl 27, Northern Majrtnrt. Krom a pho<oBr»ph. 

Another of these circles. No. 7, is thns described by Petrie: — 
" This circle, with its cromlech, are perfect. Its dirtmeter is 37 feet, 
and tlie number of slunea (Itirty-tAvo. Tiie cromlech is about 8 feet 
high, the table-stone resting on six sttnies of great magnitude: it 
18 9 feet long and 23 feet in circumference." Its general appear- 
ance will be seen in the arinexed view from a photograph (woodcut 

^ XJ 

"vK^> •' 

%i, IMnmi, with CiiTte, Nm, t, Nonhcrn Moytura, Vtvm n ph»logni]>li. 

No. 6 1 ) ; t hongh this, as in the last instance, is far from doing justice 
to it*J apjMi'nmnce.' 

No. 37 is described by Dr. Petrie (p. 248) ns a trijile circle. The 
inner one 40 feet in diameter. The second of twelve large stoni'S, 
of 80 feet, the third as a circle of 120 feet in diameter. " The 
cromleac is of the .smallest size, not more than 4 feet in height. 
The circumference of the stone table is 1(5 feet, nnd it rests on 
fh'c fiupjjorters." 

TIh'w, iiuil soveml otli»«r plmto- 
llphR of thi- ficM nml tooulitieai ncnr it, 
wttr Bi*ciHlly irnuli- Cur me by Mr. A. 

SIcfttcr, 2(5, C«stle-8tr«>t, Slign, who 
trxecuU'il my <'otiuniiffli<in btith rhrajily 
unci intL-lliiKoiitl.v. 



Chap. V. 

Exciivutious were made intu almost nil these manuments either 
hy Mr. Walker, the prupriettir of the ■ground, or by Dr. Petrie. and, 
with scarcely one escejitiou, tbey yielded oTJdence of sepulfhral 
uses. Either huitiati hones were fuuud or uniu containing ashes. 
No iron, apparently, was found in any. A bronze sword is 8aid to 
have been found, forty years ago, in 63 ; but generally there was 
notliiiig but implements of Ijoue or stone. At the time Petrie 
wrote (1837) these were not valued, or classified, as they have 
since been ; so we cannot draw any inference from tliem as to 
the age of the monuments, and uu collection, that I am aware of, 
exists in which thes«j "finds'* are now accessible. Indeed, I am 
afraid that Petrie anil those who worked with him were too little 
aware of the iuifvortance of these material points of evidence, 
to be careful either to collect or to dcscrilie the contents of these 
graves; and as all or nearly all liave been optuied. that source, 
of information may he cut oft' for ever. 

Besides these monuments on the battle-liehl, there are two 
others, sitinited nearly equi-distant from it, and which seem lo 
Ixdong to the s<inie group; one known as the Tomb of Misgun 
Meave, the celebrated Queen of Conuaught, who lived ajiparently 
f'ontemporaneously with Ca'sitr Aiigustus, or rather, as the annal- 
ists iusiat, with Jesus Christ ;' tliough, according to the more 
accurate Tigheniach, her death occurred in the 7th year of Ves- 
pasian, in A.D. 7o.^ It is situated on the top of a high hill 
known as Knock iia Kea (woodcut No. GO), at a distance of 
two miles westward from the lattle-lield. Jt was described by the 
Rt. Hon. William Burton, in 177y, as an enormous heap of small 
stones, and is of an oval figure, 050 feet in circumference at the 
base, 7!) feet slope on one side and G7 feet on the other. The area 
on the top is 100 feet in its longest diameter and 8o feet in its 
shortest. When Petrie visited it in 1837, it was only 5'JO feet in 
eircumference, and the longest diameter on the top oidy 80 feet. 
It had in the interval, in fact, been used as a quarry ; and I have 
uo doubt but that the flat t<ip originally measured the usual 
100 feet, and was circulai'. "Around its base," says Petrie, "are 

' U'Currj * ' MuUfiuU li>f .\iioi<ul Irish Hintoo,' .\|.[K.ndix xxv. p. 41. 

• "Mtnba itoginn occuti vtt n Fufljn dio lilio Cinicohuri 7 Vu«|Mdiuiio, ' ii. ji. '2ii. 



the remains of many tiepulcliral jnoiiuuiuiitji of lesser importance. 
'Consisting of groups of large stones forming circular or oval 
enclosures, A careful excavation within these tombs by Mr. 
Walker resulted in tliu tlLscovcry not only of human int'Orments, 
but also of several rude ornaments ami implements of stone of a 
• similar character to those usually found in sepulchres of this class 
in Ireland, and which, being unaccompanied by any others of a 
metallic nature, identify this group of monuments us of contem- 
poraneous age with those of Carrowmore, uiuoug which no iron 
' remains are known to hare been discovered, and mark them aa 
belonging to any period of semi-civilized society in Ireland." ' 

From their situaticm, it seems hardly possible to doubt that 

[these smaller tombs arc contemponmeous with or sulisequent to 

[the Great Cairn ; and if this really were the tomb of Queen 

'Meave, it would throw some light on our snbjwt. The great 

cairn has not, however, been dug into yet ; and till that is done 

the ownership of the tomb cannot be deliiiitoly fixed. There are 

[several reasons, however, for doubting the tratlitiou. In the first 

place, we have the direct testimony of a commentary written by 

Sloelniuiri, that Meavo (Meahbh) was buried at llathcroghan, 

[which was the proper burying-place of her race; "her Iwdy 

having been removed by her |>eople from Fert Medhbha; for they 

deemed it more houi>ural>le to have her interred at Cruacbaii."' 

^As the Book of the Cemeteries confirms this, there seems no 

j;ood reason for doubting the fact, though she may have first 

[been laid in this neighbourhood, which may have given rise to 

■ the tradition. 

If, on the other hand, we may trust Beowulfs description of a 
jvrarrior's grave, as it was understood in the ^tli century, no tomb in 
[these islands would answer more i)erfectly ti> his ideal than the 
ft'airn on Knock na Rea: — 

" 'I'heu. vvrotiglit 
The people of the Westerns 
A luijund over the sea. 
It was high lUid broml, 
By the scii-lhriiii^ man 
To he aec'U alar." 

' I^il'e erf Petric' p. 256. 

' l*otrie'ii ' Buutul Tower*," ji. 107. 



Chap. V. 

That uii Irinh queen should l>e buried on a mountain-top over— 
kwkiiiig tlie Western Ocean sttema most iuifmibable, and is opposed 
to the evidence we have; but that a Viking warrior shouh! be so 
btiriod, ovtM-Ioitkiiig the sea and a battle-flehl, seems natural; but 
who be may have been is for future uivestigat<jrs to discover. 

The other cairn is situated just two mih?s eastwartl from the 
battle-fielti, on an eminence overlouking- Jjoch Gill, It is less in 
height than the so-catlcd Queens Tonih, hut the toji ia nearly 
perfect, and has a curious saucer-like depression, as nearly as can 
be measured, lOU feet in diameter. It has never been du^ into, 
nor, su far as I could learn, does any tradition attach to it. 

The history of the Buttle of N(»rtheni MoytHra, as told in the 
Irish Annnls, is brieHy as follows :' — 

Nuadft, who was king of the Tiiatha de Duuanns when the battle 
of Southern Moytura was fought, lost his arm in the light, Tiiis, 
however, some skilled artificers whom he had with him skilfully 
replaced by one made of silver; so that lie was always afterwards 
known as Nuada of the Silver Hand. AVIiether from this cause 
or some other not explained, he resigned the chief sovereignty to 
Breas, who, though a Fomorian by birth, bold a chief command 
ill the Tuatha do Danann army. t)wing to his penurious habits 
and domineering dispisitiuu, Breas slm>ii rendered himself very 
Tinpopular with the nobles of liis Court ; and, at a time when 
the discontent was at its height, a certain poet and satirist, 
(_'airbre, the son of the poetess Etau, arrived at his Court. He 
was treated by the king in so sliabby a manner and with such dis- 
respect, that he left it in disgust; but, before doing so, he wrote 
ani! published so stinging a satire against the king, as to set the 
blood of the Jiubles boiling with indignation, and they insisted on 
his resigning the power he had held for seven yeare. "To this 
call the regent reluctantly acceded ; and, having held a council 
with his mother, tliey both determine*! to retire to the Court of 
his father Elathii, at ihLs time tlie great chief of Fomorian pirate?, 
or Sea Kings, who then swarmed through all the German Ocean 
and ruled over the Sbetlund Islands and the Hebrides." 

■ It will l>e fnutiJ (vt more k'Ugtb in K, U'Currj-'n ■ MHt«rials Tur Aucimit Ir!»li^ 
lti»Uirv.' |.p. •.MT-aSii. 

Chap. V. 



ElAtlm agreed to provitle liis eon uith ii fl^et to cuuqiiur 
Ireland for himsolf from thu Tuatbu do Daiiann, if he could ; and 
for this purpose collected all the men and ship lyinj,' from Scaii- 
dinarin westwards for the intended invasion, the chief command 
being entrusted to Balor of the Evil Eye, coujoiutly with Breas. 
Having landed near Sligo, they pitched their tents on the gpot — 
Carrowmore — where the battle was afterwards fought. 

Here they were attacked by ^Nuadf* of the Silver Hand, acconi- 
pauied by the great Daghda, wlvu had taken a promiiietit part in 
the previous buttle, and other chiefs of note. The battle took 
place on the last day of Octtiber, and is eloquently descrfb?d. The 
Fomoriaus were defeated, and their chit^f men killer!. Kins 
Nuada was slain by Balor of the Evil Eye, but Balor himself fell 
soon after by a stone flang at him by Lng his grandson by his 
daughter Eithlenn. 

After an interval of forty years, ac-ording to the 'Annals of the 
Pour Masters,' the Daghda succeeded to the vAcant throne, and 
mgned eiglity years.' 

From the above abstract — all the important passages of which 
are in the exact words of the translation — it is evident that the 
author of the tract considered the Foraorians and the Tuatha de 
Danann as the same people, or at leaat as two tribes of the same 
race, the chiefs of which were closely united to one another by 
intermarriage. He also identities thoiu with the Scandinavian 
Vikings, who played so important a part in Irish history down to 
the Battle of Clontarf, whic!i happ3ned in 1014. 

This may at tirst sight seem very improbable. We must not, 
however, forget the celebrated lines of Ctaudiun:'^ ''Matluorunt 

' ft woii, ocoonliiig til the sarne aiitlio- , 
ritiea. " during this intorval t)iat Lugh, 
tile thun reij^iiiDg king, estnlilittheU the I 
foir at Tailtcaa, in couiruomoiution i.if I 
hi» rrwtrr-ruutLur, thu tlauglitcr of Ma;,'lk ' 
Mrir, kmg ol" Spain," '■ This fair," adds 
Pr. O'EKjiioviui, "cnntinuiid fiunouij down 
tv tlio t!nie of RixK-ric O'Conor, last ' 
monarch of Ireland ; an<l the tnulitii)D8 I 
f)f it M* still «■> >'iviil, that TfUtown w«« 
till nM'^iitlv rt>«ortc<l tn hy the men nf 
Mnalh fnr hurlint;, wr«.>biliii){. itnd manly , 
m^Hir1»." It witidil Yw n WDudcrriil in- I 

sinnoc nf thij slitMlity of Iritili institu- 
tioiiH if It fair, i-tttahliahcd in ti miacrnhle 
inland villiitic r-ight<-cn ix-nturieB U'foro 
Christ, Hlnmld llxuriKh through tlio 
middle ii;L;oti, and hardly now bo extinct! 
It mny have 1-km'u eiiluMitjhiHl alxiut the 
Christian era, but ct-rlaiuly but before, 
and thus l>pciijn<'a aniHhcr ]>ic>ce of evi- 
dence OH to the date of the (events wo 
are <lp8cribing. — ' AnnnU of Iho Four 
MaMtcrd,' i>. 'I'A. 
' ' M"ii, Hist. Ilrit.' xeviii. 



Chap. V. 

Suxone fuso Oreades: inealuit Pictoruai sanguine Tbiile : Scotoruui 
cumulos flevit glacialis lerne," This, it may be said, was written 
three ur cvl-u four cw.'nfuries after tho eveuts of whidi we are now 
speaking ; but it wus also written five ecntiirics before the Northmen 
are generally supjiosed to have occupied the Orkneys or to 3iave 
interfered in the affairs of Ireland, and does point to an earlier 
state of affairs, though how much anterior to the poet's time there 
is nothing to bIiow. 

It has been frequently proposed to identify the Danann^ with the 
Danes, from the similarity of thetr names. Till I visited Sligo, I 
(.■onfess I always looked ou this as one of those random j^uosses from 
irlcutiiy of more sound whtch are generally very deceptive in investi- 
gations of this sort. The monuments, however, on the battle-lield 
correspond so nejtrly to those figured by Madsen in his ' Autiquites 
prehistoriques duDanemark,'' aud their disposition is so similar to 
that of the Btuaval]a feld'-' and other battle-lields in tScaudiiuivia, 
that it will now require very strong evidence to the contrary to 
disjirove an oltvious ant] intimate connection between them. 

In coDfiuding his account of the battle, Mr. O'Curry adtls: 
" Cormac Mac Cullinau, in his celebmted Glossary, quotes this 
tract in illustration of the word Nea; so that so early as the ninth 
century it was looked npon by him as a very ancient historic 
comj)ositiou of authority."^ If this is so, there seems no good 
reason for doubting his having spoken of eveuts and things 
perfectly within his competence, and so we may consider the 
account above given as historical till ut least some good cause is 
shown to the contrary. 

It now only remains to try and find out if any means exist by 
which the dates of these two battles of Muytma can Ije tixed with 
anything liko certainty. H we turn to the ' Annals of the Four 
Masters,' which is the favourite authority willi Irish antiquaries, 
we get a startling answer at once. The battle of Moytura Cong, 
according to them, took place in the year of the world 3303, and 
the second battle twenty-seven years afterwards.* The twenty is 

' Mudscu, 'Anliqnitca prehiBloriquet 
rlu Diineinatk." LViponliftgcn, 1809. 

' Sjobofj; Sunilingur (or Nordens Foi- 
■wlsknre,' i. p. 12. 

' 'Materials for Ancient Irish Ui»- 
lory,' p. 2.W. 

* ' AnnalR or tho Four Master*,' trans- 
lated by J. O'Donovan. i. p. 21. 

r.nxr. V. 



a gratuitous interpolal ion. This in equivalent to 1896 and 1869 
yeare before Christ. Alphubetical writing was not, as we shall 
presently see, iutroduceil into Ireland till after the Christian 
Era, the idea therefore that tlio details of these two battles should 
have been preserved orally during 2000 years, and all the inter^ 
mediate events forgotten, is simply ridiculous. The truth of tlie 
matter seenis to be tliat tho • Four Jliisters,' like truly patriotic 
Irishmen in the middle of the seventctnth century, thought it 
necessary for the honour of their country to carry back its history 
to the Flood at least. As tho coui»try at the time of the Tuatha 
de Dananns was divided into live kin;:;iloin.s,' and at other limes 
into twenty-five, they had an abundance of names of chiefs at their 
disposal, and instead of treating them as cotemporary, they wrote 
them out consecutively, till they reached back to Ceasair — not 
Julius — but a granddfiUfrlit<;r of Noah, who came to Ireland forty 
days before the Flood, with fifty girls and three men, wlio conse- 
quently escaped tlie fate of the rest of mankind, and peopleil the 
western isle. This is silly enough, but their treatment of the her<i 
of Moytnra is iilmost as much so. Allowing that he was thirty 
years of age wlieu he took so prominent a part in tlie second 
battle, in 3330, he must have been seventy-one when he ascended 
the Irish throne, and, after a reign of seventy-nine years, have 
died at the ripe old age of 150, from the effects of a poisoned 
wound he had received 120 years previously. Tlie 'Four Masters ' 
«ay eighty years earlier, but this is only another of their thousand 
and one inaccuracic'^. 

When we turn from these to the far more authentic annals of 
Tigheniach, who died 1088 A.D., we are met at once by his often 
quoted dictum to the effect that " omnia Monuraenta Scotornm 
usque Ciraboeth incerta erant."'' It would have l>cen more satis- 
factory if he could have added that after that time they could 
be depended upon, but this seems by no means to have been the 
A*, however, Cimboeth is reported to have tbunded Arma<:»h, 
'ih tbe year 289 B.C., it gives us a limit beyond which we cannot 
Certainly proceed without dimger and difficulty. We get on surer 
ground when we reach the reign of Crimthann, who, according to 

• CyCurry, ' Slntcriula for Ancient Irish History,' p. 2iff, 

* O'Connor, ii. p. 1. O'Curry, 'Materials for Ancient Irigh Hislorv,' \\ G3. 



('11 AT. V. 

Tigliernach, died in the year of our era 85, after a reign of 
16 years.^ Tliti ' Four Mjistei-s,' it is true, make him foutcmporary 
with Ciirist; but even Dr. O'Donovan is oblige*! to confess that 
qU these earlier reign.<», after the Christian era, are antedated to 
about the same extent.' Unfortunately for our pnri>ose, however, 
Tigheniaeh'H early annals arc almost wlioUy devoted to the 
chronicles of tlie kings of Einania or Arnxagh, ami it is only inci- 
dentally that he names the kings ofTara, which was the capital 
both of the Firbolgs and Tiiutha (!*■ Dananns, nnd he makes no 
allusion to the battles <if Moytiua. Tlmngh our uiinalist, therefore, 
to a certain extent deserts lis here, there are liifidentul notices oT 
the Daghda and his friends in Irish manuscripts referring to other 
subjects, which seem suflicieiit to settle t!ie question. The best of 
these were collected (ogotlier I'ur another pur[>ose by Pelrie, in his 
celebrated work on tlie Round Towers, and, as they are easily 
accessible there, it will not l>c necessary to quote tliem in e,xtenso, 
but merely the passjvges bearing ilirectly on our subject.' 

The tirst extract is from a ^ery celebrated work known as the 
'Iieabhar na I'Uidhre,' ^vritten apparently before 1106, which is 
given by the 'Four Musters' us the date of tlie author's death. 
Speaking of ( 'ormac, the son of Art and ^rnn<lsoii of Conn of 
a Hundred Battles: — "Before his deatii, which happened in 267, 
he told his jieople not to bur^' him at Briigh, on the Boyne, where 
the kings of Tara, his predecessors, were buried, because he did 
not adore stones and trees, and did not wurship the same g<xl as 
those intt^rred at Bnigh, for he hud laitli," adds the monkish 
chronicler, " in the one true Cod according to the law." 

The tract then goes on to say that "the kings of the race of 
Heremon were buried at Cniachan until tlie times of Crinithann, 
who was the first king of them that was buried in Bnigh." The 
othere, including Queen Meave, Avere buried at Cruachau, because 
tliey possessed Conuaught. " But they were interred at Brugh 
from the time of Crinithann to the time of Leoghaire, the son of 
Niall (a.d. 428), except three persons, namely Ait the son 

' ' Tighcmuclii Ann." 0'Or>nnor, p. 1 1-li3. 

* ' Annnlo of the Four Mtwilers,' i. p. 9S. 

' • KrBii.v I'll thf Ancifiit Arcliilprliirc of Irelniul,' hy (i. Prtrio, pii. !»7-l(W, 


Chap. V. 



of Conu, and Cormac the son of Art, and Nioll of tlie Nine 
Hostages." A little further on we have the following parag^rnph : 
— '* (101.) The nobles of tlio Tuathadc Dannnn were used to bury 
at Brufrh, i.e., the Dap;dUa with his throe sons, and also Luj:^hnidh 
and Oe, nn<l Ollam ami Ogina, and Etan the poetess, and ( !orpro 
the eon of Etan, and Crimthaim followed them because his wife 
was one of the Tuatha Dea, and it was she that solicited him that 
he should adopt lirugh as a bmying-]>lace for himself and his 

In the 'Book of Ballyuiote ' (p. 102) it is said, " Of the luonn- 
meat of Bnigh here, viz., The Bed of daughter of Foraun. The 
monument of the Daghda. The mound of the ^lorrigan. The Bare 
of Crimthann in which ho was interre<l. The Carnail (stone cairn) 
of Conn of a Hundred Battles," &c'. In a seeond passage we 
recognise the following names rather more in detail : '' The Bed 
of the Dagdha first, the two paps of the Murrigau, at the jilace 
where Cermud Milbhel, the son of the Dagdha was bom ' — (the 
monuments of) Cirr and Cuirrell wives of the Dagdha — there are 
two hilliX'ks; the grave of Aedii Luirgnoch, son of the Dugdlia." 
Again, in a prose eonimentary on a poem which Petrie quotes, 
we have the following apparently by Moeluniori. The chiefs of 
Ulster before Conehobar (he ia said to have died 33 ') were buried 
at Talten . . . The nobles of the Tuatha do Dnuanns, with the 
exception of seven who were interred at Talten, were buried in 
Brugh, i,e.y Liigh and Oe, son of Ollamh and Ogma, and Carpre 
the son of Etnn, and Etan (the poetess herself), an<l tlie Daghda 
anil her three sous?, and a great many others besides of the 
Tuatha do Danann, B'irbolgs, and others." 

There is no doubt but that many similar passages to tliese 
might be found in Irisli >[SS., if looked for by competent scholars, 
but these extracts probably are sufficient to prove two things. 
First, that tlie celebrated cemetery at Brugh, on the Boyne, 
six miles west fmm Drogheda, was the bua-ying- place of the 
kings of Tara fi-om Criratharm (a..d. 84) till the time of 8f. 

■ Could this be the gr«ftl Rath dote 
to Ihc Neittrville domain ? 8et< 9\t W, 
Wildr, 'Tbo IJoyiiP uuil lln« Bltick- 
UkUT,' p. SI I. 

« TighfrtmpJi, O'Connor, ii. p. 23. 
" CMTvobartu fUiua Neaan okiit liw imno 



CltAP, V. 

Patrick (a.d. 432), and that it was also tlie Imryinir-plaoe of sill 
those who were concemetl — without Ijoinfr killpd — in tlie battles of 
Moytum. We are not, unfortunately, able to itlentify the prare 
of encli of tliese lierooe. though it may be Ijecause only one has 
been properly explored, that called New Granfje, and that had 
been rificcl before the first modem explorers in the seventeenth 
century found out the entrauee. 'J'he Hill of Dowth has only 
partially Ijeen opened. The great caini of Knowth is untouched, 
so is the great caini known as the Tomb of the Dajjdha. Exca- 
vations alone can prove their absolute identity; but this at least is 
certa.iii, we have on tlii> bftnkK of the Royne a group of nmnuments! 
similar in external appearnnee at least with those on the two 
Moytura Imttle-fields, nnd the date of the greater number of 
those at Brugh is eerluiiily subsequent to the Christian era.' 

The second point is not i-apable of such direct proof, but seems 
equally cle^r. It is that the kings of the race of Crimthann 
immediately succeeded to the kings of the Tuatha de Diurnnn, 
wlio fought at Moytura. If, indeed, we cotdd trust the assertion 
that Crimthann was the first king that was buried at Brugh, we 
BJiould be obliged to find a place for the Daglida under some 
[)seudonym afterwards, and it is possible that may be the case,' 
but for the present it seems more reasonable fo ascsurao that he 
preceded hitu at a very short interval. 

According to the ' Four blasters,' the Tuatha de Dananu had 
been extinct for nearly 2UW» yenrs when we find Crimthann 
marrj'ing a princess of that race, and one of suftieient influence 
to induce him to odojit what aj>pears literally to have beeft the 
family buryiug-idace of the Dagdha for that of himself and his 
race; and it seems iuipoesibJe to believe that when this took place 
it could have been <»ld, or neglected, or deserted. 

' In Uic ' Anntda of Iho Four Masten ' 
(i, p. K!>) Ihoro i'h n kin;.' rollinl Kiicliniil 
Aireninb. *• Iilco (liclup," unyB LviktIi, 
Irnn-ilaiiiig KrntinfT, "qiintl luiniilott 
rd'oili primus in Hibernin punwil." I 
Imvi' lie) iliMibt llip ftynidlojfy jg corroof. 
and ti|f f/vt alsio; but tt«'iMi1J hanllydn 
to \jAtf uur arrnimciit U|ioi> it, though it 
af<virila jierfti'tly wtlli lliti cniKjIuBinn 

1 havo »rrin<d at from other circiim- 
htnnoi's. He lived, aworditij; to llii' 
' Fmir Mi«t4?n,' IIH B.C. Acciinling to 
the lunrf correct Tighsniach, 45 B.C. 

' The nal imiuc o(" the Dn),r|ida *■«*, 
Boconl ing to the ' Four Masters,' Eochftidh 
Ollathuir; and E(K>huiiL, or Eik-Iit, in one 
of I he iiinst comiuou namei) in Iridi hia- 
t"ry, nn>) constantly n-ciirriiivr. 

JnAr. V. 



According to the ' Four Masters,' the Firbolgs reigned thiity- 

»Ten years only, so that they do not in tlxis case seem to err on 

the side of exaggeration, and the Tnntha de Danann 100 years. 

I From this, however, we must deduct the tMcnty years tlicy un- 
necessarily intur]iohilC'd between the two baltlf*:, and we must 
take something from the eighty years the Dagdha reigned after 
he was ninety-one years of age. If we allow, then, a century, 
it will place the battles of Moytura 20 to 30 B.C., and the arrival 
of the Firlxjlgs about the middle of the first century B.C. This, 
with a small limit of error either way is, T am convinced, pretty 
nearly th<^ true date of these events.' 
^H If we turn to the celebrated Hill of Tiira, abimt ten miles off, 
^f where these resided who were buried at Brugli-iiii-Boinne, we find 
a great deal to confirm tlie views expressed above. When Petrie 
was attached to tin.- Ordnance Survey, he had a very careful plun 
made of the remains on tliut hill, and compiled a most elaborate 
memoir regarding them, which was published in the eighteenth 
volume of the ' Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy.' It cou- 
^H eludes with these words (p. 231): ''From the historical allusions 
^■deduced it will be seen tlmt, with the exception of the few last 
^Bdescribed,* they are all nearly contemporaneous and belong to the 
third century of the Christian era. The era of the original 

iTnatha de Danann CatliaJr belongs to the remote period of un- 
cert4iin trailiiion. The only other monuments of ascertuiucd date 
ure those of Conor JIac Nessa and Cuchullim, both of whom 
flourished in the first century. These facts are sufficient tu prove 
that before the time of Corniac Mac Art,-' Tara had attained to no 
distinmiishod celebritv." 

.Siiii u the bUivp was vrilten I bnvr; 

lltvcii ^rnlifioil to litid so i-niincnt mi 

■itutboriiy as Dr. Hcnttiuiu Tmld, Into 

ll'ifsiiliiit i)f the Royal Irinli Ai-iidrniy, 

liirnviiiK. l>y o Tt-ry U.lliTt-iit rrjiul, at 

|*fry iifurly tlio buiuc coTichision : — '■ Tlio 

yiiiioljrn, or B<'l;;iis" lie tuy.t, " iiivuili'd 

IifUiid, nol frum Friiiuc. hut fnjiii 

Ilrilaiii — Dumiinnii. or llovon." " The 

|culi'|U^t «( Iri'limd wna not iinicli oklcr 

nliain L"n'»nrs tinif, if it wrre not u t;<«"3 

■Lit later, iind whs tlir lirxt inllux nf 

lfiviliKi1ii;n iii<l«, hidoi-d, Init niuiii tu- 

|H'rior lo tLut ol" tljc HiIktiu.' — In'ih 
Snuii'iui, trutiKlulcd by J, 11. Todd, D.l),, 
Aj>|>«.'ndix C. 

' The principal one of theso U tho 
ratli i>f Qtinen Meove, at Kime diblaiicu 
off. She, Bcooriiinj; U> TigUomach, wu* 
n'aii by bet btepioa, iu tliu suvLiilh 
yi'ur uf Vftpaiiun, A.ii. 7.i. 

' Afcoidiiig l<» Ti);lierui«h, Cdriiiiic, 
tho gmudsoii of Couii «f a Ilutnlroil 
Hntlks, couimoiily mlktl Cornmc Mo*- 
.\rt, rpignwl ait-^OO a.V. 


Chap. V. 

The ouly difliculty iu this passage is the alltision to the Tuatha 
de Danann, At the time Petrie wrote it he like most Irish 
autiquuries, had been unuble to eiuaneipite himsi'lf from the spell 
of the * Four Ifasters,' and, struck by the paiiia they had taken, 
and the general correctness of their annals after the Christiau 
era, had adopted their pre-Chrislian chronology almost without 
question. The Cufhair here ulhuJed to is ouly an undistinguishable 
part of the Hath of Coniuve, (o whit^h tra<litioii altachea tliat name, 
but neither in plan, nor materials, nor construction can be separateil 
from it. That the Dauanns hud a Catbair an tliis hill is more 
than probable if, as I suppose, they immediately preceded the 
Crjintbniin dynasty, wlio certainly resided here. It may also well 
be that they occupietl this site, wliich is the highest on the hill, 
and that their p:ilace was afterwards enlarged by Cormae. The 
plan of it is worth referring to (woodcut No. U2), from its curious 










TUIh nt Hlogb, or, Catliair of CurnMC, m I'ora. 

resemblance to that of Avebury: what was here done iu earth 
was aft«rwai-ils done in stone in Wiltshire, aufl it seems as if, as 

Cmap. V, 



is 8u ol'tt'ii the fusc, the house of the dead was copied from tlie 
dwellinsr of the livinj::. 

The Dngdhrt had apparently no residence here. From the con- 
text I would itifer thnt he residtd in the irreiit Kath, about 300 feet 
diameter, at Dowlh, where his eon, Hjiparently, was bom, and 
near to which, as above shown, he also was buried. If, however, 
he had no residence on the Eoyal hill, his so-called sjiit was one 
of the most celebrated jiieces of fuinitiirc of the palace. It was a 
most elaborate piece of ironuiongeiy, and performed a variety of 
coc'king operations in a very astonishing manner, and showa, at all 
events, that the smith who made it had no little skill in the 
working of iron, of which metal it was priucipnlly composed.' 

The Rath of Leoghaire (429-458 A.n.) is inttrosting to ua, not 
only as the lust erected here, but from the circumstances of its 
builder being buried in its rnmpurts. It seems that, in spite of 
all tlie preaching and persuasi<iii8 of St. Patrick, who was his oon- 
terajiorarj', Leoghaire refused to be converted to the Christian 
religion ; but like a grand old Pagan, be ordered that lie should 
be buried standing in his armour in the rampart of his Rath, 
and facing the country of the iocs with whom he had contended 
during life. That this was done is as well authenticated as any 
incident of the time, perhaps even better;' and I cannot help 
fancying from the appearance of the llaths, that some others of the 
kings were inteiTcd here also. Be that as it may, this circum- 
stance ought to prevent our feeling any surprise at the actual 
discovery of the skeleton of a man under the rampart at Marden 
(ante p. 86), or if human bones were still found under the vallum 
at Avebury, in spite of the negative evidence of the partial 
explorations of the Wiltshire Archa?ological Society. 

Tl>ere is still another point of view from which this question 
may be regarded, so as to throw some light on the main issue of 
tlie age of the monuments in question. If we cau aseertuiti when 
the art of writing was first practised in Ireland, we may obtain 
an approximate date before which no detailed history of any events 
could be expected to exist. Now all the best antiquaries of Ireland 

• 'Hiit. nnd Ant. ofTara Hill.'— 'Trans. IL I. A.' wiii. p. 212. 
» Ibid, xviii. [>[> 81. 137. 170. See. 

U J. 


CHAr. V. 

ore agreed that no al[jhal)i;tic writiiij; was used in Ireland bafore 
the reigu of Cormuc Mac Art, a.d. 218-26G. There seems tu be 
evidem-e tlmt, as above mentioned, he was t-oti verted to Christianity 
by some Romish piiost; and thonii;h it is unlikely tiuit he himself 
acquired the ait of writing, he seems to liave caused certain tracts 
to be compiled. None of these, it is true, now exist, but they are 
referrtnl ta iiud qnuted from an niieient Irish M>5. in a manner 
that leaves little doubt that some bitoks were written in Irtdand 
in the third centnry, but almost certainly there were none before 
that time. It is trne, however, that Eugene O'C'urry pleads hard 
fur some kind of Ogham writing having existed in Iivlaml before 
tluit time, and even before the Cliristinn era.' But though we 
may admit the former proposition, the evideuee of the latter is of 
the most nnsuvtisrai-tory description. Even, however, if it conld be 
Lstubljshed it would [»rove vi!ry little. It would bo as dilhcult to 
write a euunected liiatory in Ogham as it would be in Exehoquer 
tallie.«, and so far as is known, it never was attempted. The utmost 
Ogham ever rlid, or conld do, was to record gencalogJes ; and such 
detailed histt)ries as we pos-^ess of tlie Muytnra b.ittles are quite 
hnyond its powers. On the other bund, !Hr. O'Curry's own account 
of Senchan's di'Kculties in obtaining copies of the celebrated 
'Tain IJ6 CtiUHilgne,* or 'Ciittlt.' SjkjiI of Coohiy,' after the year 
5&t>, shows how little the art was then practised. No copy of this 
|»oem, which contains the life and adventures of Queen Meave, 
in the lii-st century, then existed iu Ireland. A mission was cou- 
seqiiuntly sent to Italy to copy one said to have existed there, and 
lliough tlie ndssionariui were miraculously spared the journey," 
the inference is the same, that no wiitten copy of their most 
celebrated work existed iu Ireland iu the year COO. 

Petrie is equally clear on the subject. In his history of Tarn 
he states that the Irish wore unacquainted with letttfrs till the 
introduction of Cliristianity in the fifth century, with the doubtful 
exception of the writings ascribed to Carmac JLic Art. He con- 
sequently believes that the authentic history ol irtland commences 
only with Tuuthal, a.d. 130, IGU, iu ^vhich he is probably correct* 

• Mnienals for Auoieiit IrUli HUtorj-,' .\|>(>enlix ii. \>. 4i5a el teq'i. 

lUiL p. mi ct teiq. '• ' Hint, nnl Ant, .if Tiira.' — 'Tmna. H. 1. S.' xviii. ji. 4ti. 

Cum: \' 



But here the question arises — Bcfuii' tlio iutioJuction of writing 
into a country, how long coulil so tletnilod a narrative as that whicli 
we possess of the Battles of Mojtura, and one so capable of lieing 
verilieil by material evidences on the spcit, be hamled down orally 
as a plain prose narrnlive? Among so rnrle a people us llie Irish 
avowedly tiien were, would this period be one century or two, or 
how many? Every one must decide for himself. I do not know 
an instance of any rude people preserving orally any siieh detailed 
history for a couple of centuri<s. With me the great difficuUy is 

understand how the memory of the battles was bo perfectly 
preserved, assuming them to have taken plaee so long ago as the 
first century B.C. As it is not pretended that the iiarrntives were 
reduced to writing so early as the time of Cormac, I should, from 
their internal evidence, be much more inclined to assume tliat 
the battles must have taken place one or two centuries after the 
birth of Christ. At all events, it seems absolutely impossible that 
the date of these battles can be so remote as the Four Masters place 
them, or even as some Irish antiquaries seem inclined to admit. 

The truth of the matter afipears (o be that, in the Eocene period 
of Irish history or in the one or two centuries that preceded the 
introduction of writing, we have a whole group of names so inex- 
tricably mixed together that it is impossible to separate them. 
We have the Dagdha and his wives and their sons. We have 
Etan the poetess and her ill-condilioiR'd sou. There is Queen 
Meave of the Cattle Raid, nml In r Imsharid Conclmbliar McNessa. 
There is Cumbhail, the Fiugjd of Macj herson and Cuchullin ; 
and then sucli semi-historical persons as Tnalhal the A<<'epfed,and 
Conn of a Hundred Battles. All these lived almost together in one 
capital, and were buriud in one cemetery, and form a half-historic, 
half-mythic group, such as generally precedes written history in 
most parts of the world. Many of their dates are known with 
fairly approximate certainty, whilst that of others cannot be fixed. 
There seems, however, enough to justify us in almost positively 
affirming that the Battle oC Moytniri, \\liieli raised the Dagdha 
to fatne, happened within t!ie fifty years that preceded or the 
fifty that followed the birth of Christ, My own impression is in 
favour of the former as the niMic pmbable date. 



CitAP. V, 

To some this may appear an over-laboured disquisition to prove 
an insif^nificant point. It is not, however, one-tenth part of wlint 
miglit be advanced on tlie subject from translate<l and printed 
documents, and, certainly, it would be diflicult to exng^erato its 
importance with reference to the subject matter of this work. If 
the two groups of monuments at Cong and Carrowmore can be 
proved to be the monunienta of those who fell in the two battles of 
Southern aud Northern Moytnra, we have made an immense step 
towards a knowledge of the use of these monuments ; and if it can 
be shown that they dale from about the Christian Era, we gain 
not only a standpoint for settling the age of all other Irish anti- 
quities, but a base for our reasoning with reference to similar 
remains in other countries. 

No Irish antiquary, nor indeed of any other country, so far as 
I know, has ventured to hint a doubt that they mark the bjittle- 
fields. Nor, in the present state of the evidence, do I see any reason 
for questioning the fact ; and, for the present at least, we may assume 
it as granted. The second proposition is more o[>eri to quoation. Irish 
antiquaries generally will dissent from 90 serious a rahiction in the 
antiquity of these two great battles. But, after the most earnest 
attention I have been able to give to all that has been written and 
said on the subject and a careful comparison of the nToniimeuts on 
these fields with those of other countries, I avouM, on the whole, be 
inclined to bring them forward a century or tuo, if I could find a 
gap to throw them into, rather tiian date them earlier. They look 
older aud more tentative thim the English circles described in the 
last chapter, iiut not so much so as to lead us to expect a difference 
of four or five centuries. On the other hand, they are so like those 
on the Bravnlla field, ami otlier monuments in Scandinavia, to be 
described hereafter, that it is puzzlinpr to think that seven or ten 
centuries elapsed between them. But, taking all the circum- 
stances of the case into consideration, the conclusions above 
arrived at appear fair and reasonable, and in conformity, not only 
to what was said in the last chapter, but to the facts about to be 
adduced in the following pages. 

Chap. V, 




Altliough IrL-h nntiqiiarios have succeeded in Klmtifying the 
localities of a rciu8>lerable number of tlic tliousand niid one battles 
wliidi, as might Le expected, adorn- at every page the annals of 
a Celtic race ; yet, as none of these ai-e described as marked with 
circles or calms, like tliose found on the two battle-fields of Moy- 
tura, they are of no use for our present piiqiose, and our further 
illustrations must be drawn from the peaceful burying-])lace8 of 
the Irish, which are, however, of singular interest. 

In the history of the Cemeteries, eight aro eiiiiruL'nitfd ;' Init of 
these only the first tln-ee can be identified with anything like cer- 
tainty at the present day. But as the antiquities of Ireland have 
never yet been systematically explored, others may yet be found, 
and 80 also may many more t^tone-markcd battle-fields. Mean- 
while our business ia with 

" Tbe tlirec cemi'teries of tlie idolaters : 
The Cemetery of 'I'ntlten the select, 
'J'he Cemetery of the ever fair Cniacliaii, 
And the Cemetery of Bnigli."* 

le two last aro known with certninty. The first is most probably 
the range of mounds at Lough Crew, recently explored by Mr. 
Conwell; but, as some doubt this identification, we shall tnko 
it last, and speak first of those regarding which there is more 

Cruachan, or Eathcrogan, is situated five miles west from Carrick- 
on-Shannon, and consists, according to Petrie, of a circular stone 
ditch,* now nearly oblitcroted, 300 feet in diameter. Within this 
"are small circular mounds, which, when examined, arc found to 
cover rude sepnlchrat chambers, formed of stone, without cement 
of any kind, and containing unburnt Ixines," The monument of 
Dathi (428 a.d.), which is a small circular mound with a pillar- 
stone of Ked Sundstone, is situated outside the enclosure, at a 
short distance to the east, and may be identilied from tlie lollowiiig 
notice of it by the celebrated antiquary Duuld Mac Firbis. " Tlie 
body of Dathi was brought to Cruachan, and was interred at 

' Pct/ie, ' Bo^llcl Towers,' 100 rf wqq, 

« L. r. lOfl. 

» Till' Irnli iwe .litrlu IIS thp ndinniiB 

Tiaed riillum, or the Scntch dylce, to ile- 
ugnate n rutnpart nr the hnllnw 
fmm whiili It wns Inkm. 



Chat, V. 

Belig na RIogh, where most of the kings of the race of Heremon 
were bnrieJ, und wliero to this date tlie Rerl StmiP- pillar remains 
on n stone monument over hi;i grave, near Rath Cniaehan, to this 
time (1060).' 

Here, therefore, we have the famih'ar 300-foot circle, with the 
external burial, as at Arbor Low, and external stone monument 
as at Salkelil and elsewhere. The chief distinction between this 
and our English battle-cirolea seems to be the number of cairns, 
each containing a chamber, which crowd the circle at Rath 
Crogan, and it is possible that if these were opened with great 
care, a successiou might bo discovered among them ; but at 
present we know little or nothing of their contents. 

At present there are only two names that we can identify with 
certainty as those of persons buried here. Queen Meave, who, as 
before mentioned, was transferred from Fert Meave — or Meave's 
Grave, her first burying-place, to this Ruth, about the end of the 
first century, and l^athi, at the beginning of the fifth. Whether 
any other persons were interred hero liefore the iirst-naraed queen 
seems doubtful. From the contest, it seems as if her being bnried 
in her own Rath had led to its being consecrated to funereal rites, 
and continuing to be so used till Cbristianity induced men to seek 
burying-places elsewhere than in the cemeteries of the idolaters. 

By far the best known, as well as the most interesting, of Irish 
cemeteries is that which extends for about two miles east and west 
on the nortJiem bank of the Boyne, about five miles from Drogheda. 
Within this space there remain oven now some seventeen sepulchral 
barrows, three of which are pre-eminent.^ They are now known 
by the names of Knovvth for the most westward one, Dowth for 
that to the east, and about lialf-way between these two, that known 
OS New Grange. In front of the latter, but lower down nearer 
the river, is a smalh'^r one, still popularly known as that of the 
Dagdha, and others bear names with more ur less certainty ; but 
no systematic exploration of the group has yet been made, so 
that we are very much in the dark as to their succession, or who 
the kings or nobles may bo that lie buried within their mosses. 

' Quotation from • Book of Goneol,' p. 231. Petrie. ' Round Towers," p. 107. 
' Sir W. Wil.V, • ThP Boyn«» and the BlnckwaU-r,' 18*0, p. 18^. 




That at ICnowth has never been carefully meAsured, nor, so far 

I know, even described in motlem times. At a gness, it is 
a mound 200 feet iu diameter, nnd 50 to 60 feet in hoiprlit, with a 
flat top not less tlian 100 feet across. It is entiiely comjwsed of 
small loose stones, which liave been extensively utilized for road 
nnakinn; and farm buildings, so that the mound has now a very 
dilajtiduted appearance, which tnalios it difficult to ascertain its 
ariginal form j and so far as is kno«n, its interior haa not been 

sessible in modern times. Petrie iilentifies it (p. 103) with 
"the cave of Cnodhba, which was searched by tlie Dhucs on an 
occasion (a.d, 8G2), when the three kings, AralafF, Iniar, and 
Aulsk\ were phiudering the lerritories of Fhinn, the son of 
Conaing. If this is so, its entrance ought not t^ be difticult to 
find, but the prospect of the explorers being rewarded by any 
treasure or object of viiliio is very small indeed. 

Less than a mile from this one is the larger and more eelebrateii 
mound of New Grange. It is almost certainly one of the three 


H, Vl«w of Mvtinit at New dninge. Frum » drawing b> Colonel Fvrbn LsUe. 

plundered by the Danes 1009 years ago. No description of it has 
anywhere been discovered, prior to tlic tiinr when Mr. Llwyd, the 
keeper of the Asliinolean Museum at Oxford, mentioned it in a 
letter dated Siigo, 1(300.' He describes the entrance, the passage, 
and the side chapels, and the three basins as exi.sting then 
exactly as they <lo now, and does not allude to llie discovery 
of tlie entrance as being at aU of recent occurrence, though 

' Rowland's ' Monn Antiiina,' p. HM. 



CitAr. V. 

Sir Thomas Molyneux, in 17'25, says it was found apparently not 
long before he wrote, in nccidently removing some stones.' The 
first iPally (U'failc*! accnurit, Lowt-vrT, is that of Covemor rownnll, 
in the second volume of tlic * A rchaiolo^'ia ' (ITTOV He eniplciyod 
a local surveyor of the name of Bonis to measure it for him, biit 
either he must have been a bnnaler, or tlie enjjrover has miB- 
understood his drawings, for it i.s almost imixjssiblc to make ont 
the form and dimensions of the monnd from the plates published. 
In the 100 years that have elupsed since his survey was made, 
the process of destruction has been going on rapidly, and it 
would now require both skill and patience to restore the monu- 
ment to its previous dimensions. Uleanwhile the accompanying 
cuts, partly from Mr. Bonie's plates, partly from personal observa- 
tions, may be sufficient for purposes of ilhistration, but they 
are far from prettuding to b^ perfectly accurate, or such as ono 
wotdd like to see of so important u monument. 

Its dimensions, so far as I can make out, ai'e us follows : it has 
a diameter of :^10 to '31 ii feet fur the whole mound, at its junction 
with theunlund hill, on which it stands, Tlie height is about 
70 feet, mmle up of 14 feet for the elope of the hill to the floor 
of the central chamber, and 50 feet above it. The angle of external 
slope appeal's to bo TSS degrees, or 6 degrees steeper than Silhury 
Hill, and con6e<jueutly if there is anytlHug*in that argument, it 
may, at least, be a century or two older. The platform on the 
lop is about 120 feet across, the whole being formed of loose stones, 
v\ith the smallest possible admixture of earth and rubbish. 

Around its base was a circle of large stone monohths (woodcut 
No. 03). They stand, according to Sir \V. Wilde, 10 yards apart, 
on a circumference of 4{X) paces, or 1000 feet, if this were so, they 
were as nearly as may be 33 feet from centre to centre, and their 
number consequently must originally have been thirty, or the eame I 
number as at Stonehenge. From Bouie's plan I make the number 
thirty-two, bat this is harliy to })e depemled upon. From this dis- 
positii>n it will be observed that if the tumulus were removed, or 
had never been erected, we should have here exactly such a circle 
— 333 feet in diameter — as we find at Salkeld or at Stanton Drew, 

' rbilompbicnl TranEnclioiw,' Nns. aS-S-.^He. 



Chap. V. 

an-l it seems hardly <luulttfnl but that such nu nrrangement aa 
tliia on the bonks of the Boyne gave rise to those circles which 
we find on the batthvfiehls of Englnml two or three centuries 
later. Llwyd, in his letter to liovvland, mentions one smaller 
stone standing ou the sumnnt, hut that had disopj;enred, as 
WL'll as twenty of the outer circle, when Mr. Bonie's survey was 

At a distance of about 75 feet from the outer edge of the 
mound, and at a height of 14 or 15 feet above the level of the 
stone ring, is the entrance to tlie crypt. 'J he thrcsliold stone is 
10 feet long by about 18 inches thick, and is richly ornamented 
by double spirals nf a most elaborate and elegant tliaractor;' and 
at a sliort distance above it is seen a fragment of a string-couiTe, 
even more elaborately ornamented witli a pattern more like 
modem architecture than iinytliing else tm tliese mounds. The 
passage into the ceutrHl chauiber is, for about 40 fe«>t, G feet high, 
by 'i feet in width, though Inth these dimensicng have been con- 
siderably diminished, tlie firist by the accumulation of earth on 
the floor, the second by the mo^ of the mound pressing in the 
side walls of the passage, so that it is with iLfiiculty that any one 
can crawl through. Advancing inwards, the roof, which is formed 
of very large slabs of slone, rapiiUy Leconits hi|:her; and at a 
distance of 70 feet from tlie entrance, rises into a conicul dome 
20 feet in height, foruicd of large magges of stone laid horizontally. 
Tho crypt extends still 20 feet beyond the centre of the dome ; 
and on the east and west siiles are two other recesses, that in the 
east being considerably ilecper than the one opjiosite to it. 

In each of these recesses stands a shallow stone basin of oval 
form 3 feet by 3 feet 6 or 7 inches acrosK, and 6 to 9 inches deep. 
'1 hey seem to f'umi nn indispensable part of those Irish sepulchres, 
though what I heir use was has not yet been ascertained. 

On one stone in the passage, and on most of those in the inner 
rhaml)er, are pcnlptured ornaments, mostly of the tame spiral 
character as that on the stone at the threshold, but hardly g<i 
elaborately or ciirefully executed. Une stone m tho ri^ht hiiud 
angle of tlie inmost chandier has fallen forward (see plan), et) that 

' Tl.u is «rll illmlnil^Ml in Sir W. WiltleV book, p. 192, >>y it wotilciil l> Wnkrannn. 

Chap. V. 



by creepin;^ b«hin<l it, it is jwjsible to see the reverse of some of 
tho lu'ighlxjuriuj;; etones, ami it is found tbnt several of tbese are 
elaborately carved with the sftine spiral omaments jus their fronts, 
though it is quite iniprtssiiile tiuit, situated as they are, they conld 
have been seen after tlio moun i was raised. To account fur this, 
some have asserted ihiit tliey belonged to an older building before 
haying been used in this ; but it liardly seems necessary to adopt 
8ii violent an hypothesis. It may have b;:>en that the stones were 
carved before being u.sed, and at a time when no plans or drawings 
existed, may have been found unsuited in size or furm for tiie 
places for wliich they were first intended, and eonaequently either 
turned round or nsed elsewhere. Or it may be that as the cry|)t 
must have been built juid tolerably eoinplete before the mound 
was raided over it, the king may have had it omumented externally 
while in that state. Labour was of little value in those daj'S, and 
it ii dangerous to attempt to acrount for the caprices of kings 
in such a state of society as must then have exinted. The identity 
of the stylo and character of the ornaments both on the hidden 
and the visible parts of these stones excludes the idea that tliey 
wiTj th3 work of dift'erent epot;hs. A removal from an older 
building imjdies a desecration and neglect which must have been 
the work of time ; and, having regard to tiieir identity, it is 
improbable that a time considerable enough woidd havi? elapsed 
to admit of u building being so desc^crated imd ucglccted as that 
its stones should be carried away and us-d elsewhere. 

The position of the entrance so much within the outline of tlie 
Tumulus, is a peculiarity at first sight much more difllcult to 
account for. As it now stands, it is situated nt a distance of 
about 50 feet horizontally within what we have every reason 
to believe was the original outline of the mound. Not only 
U there no reascja to balieve that the. passage ever extended 
lurther, but the oniamcnied threshold, and the carved string- 
course above, and other iudications, seem to point out that the 
tumulus hail what may bo called an architectural fafado at this 
dt'ptli. One mode of accoimting for this would be tu ussumo that 
the original mound was only about 200 feet iu diameter ut iho 
floor level, and that tiie ijiterior was then uccessihle, but that 
iitW the death ol the king who erected it, an envelope 5U feet 



Chap. V, 

es. OnunMnt >t New Qnwgc Pruui a nibbing 

lliick was added by his sucoessors, forming the broad i>latform 
at the top, and effectually closing and hiding the entrance to tlie 

sepulchre. If this 
were so, we may 
easily fancy that 
many of his family, 
or of his followerp, 
were biirit'd in this 
envelope, and 
formed the second- 
ary hut nearly (•on- 
temporary inter- 
ments which are so 
freqiienlly found in 
English mounds. 
The experience of 
Mfuning Lowe 
(woodcut Na 33), Rose Hill (woodcut No. 39), and other English 
tumuli, goes far to countenance such an hypothesis; and there is 

much besides to be said in its 
favour, but it is one of those 
questions which can only be 
answered satisfactorily by a 
careful exaniination of the 
mound itself. Bleanwhile, how- 
ever, I am rather inclined to 
adopt the hypothesis that the 
mound hud a funnel -shaped 
entrance like Park Cwn tumu- 
lus (woodcut No. 46), and that 
at Plas Newydd (ivoodcut 
No. 47), and shown in doited 
lines in the woodcut No. 64. 
The reason for this will be 
more apparent when we come 
to examine the Lough Crew 
tumuli, but the apparent ease with which Anilaff and his brother 
Danes seem to have robbed these tombs in the ninth century. 




Ott Omnmcnt at Xcw Uraiige. Kioui a ruliblng. 

Chap. V 




ems to indicate tliat the entraiicea were not thea diffiu-nlt tu 

The ornaments whieh cover the walls of the chambers at New 
Grange are very varieil, l)f>th in tlieir form ami fhanit-tcr. Tim 
most prevalent design is that of sjiirtils variuusly comliiiK-il, and 
oft<>n of great beauty. They seem always to have been dra\vii by 
the hand, never outliued with an iiistnitnr'iit, and never quite 
regular either in their form or comLination. 
The preceding woodcuts from iiibbings 
give a fair idea of their general appear- 
auce, though many are much more com- 
plex, and some more carefully cut. The 
most extensive, and perhaps also tlie most 
beautiful, is that on the external doorstep.' 
These spirals are, however, seldum aloue, but 
more frequently are foiitnl c-ombiiied with 
xigZEig ornaments, as iu (woodeut No. OCi), and 
in lozenge-shaped patterns ; in fact, iu every 
conceivable variety that seemed to suit the 
fancy of the artist, or the shape of the stone 
he was employed upon. In one instance a 
vegetable form certainly was intended. 
There may be others, but tliis one most 

undoubtedly represents either a palm branch or a fern; niy 
impression is that it is the former, though how a knowledge of 
the Eiisteru plant reached New Grange is 
by no means clear. One other example of 
the sculptures is worth quoting, if not fur 
its beauty, at least for its interest (wood- 
cut No. 08). It is drawn full size in the 
j0t»cond volume of the ' Archteologia," p. 238, 

ad Governor Pownall, after a Ioarue<l dis- 
(laisition, conclu<les that the characters are 
Ph(E]iician but only numerals (p. 255'). 
General Vallancey aud others have not been so modest ; but one 
thing seems rpiite clear, that it is not a character in any alphabet 

6 J. Branch at Nrv (jraiij;<'. 
From » ruUbliig. 






68. Sculptured ni.irk iil New 
Ur«iig'% of uudeodit] cha- 

WttkeiiuLD, 'Handbook of Iriiih Aiiti<iutics,' (>. '^. 



Chap. V. 

now known. Still it can hai-dly be ii mere ornament. It mnst 
be either a mason's mark, or a recognizable symbol of some sort, 
something to mark tlie {wsition of tbe stone on wliieli it id 
eugravffl, or its ownership by some person. Similar marks are 
found in France, but seem there equally devoid of any recog- 
nizable meaning. 

The thin! of tboflo great tuiniili on the Boyne is known as 
that of Dowth. Dubhrtd if IVtrie is right in identifying it 
with tlie third sepulchre plundered by the Danes in 802. It was 
du:,' into by a Committee of the Roval Irish Academy in 1847, 

hut without juiy satisfHC- 
tory results. A great gash 
was made in its side to its 
centre, which has fearfully 
distijjured its form,' bur 
without any centi-al cham- 
ber being reached ; but 
ou tlie western side a 
small f'utraucc was dis- 
covered leading to a pas- 
sage wlu'cli extended 40 
feet G itjches (from A to D) 
towards the interior. At the distance of 28 feet from the entrance 
it forme! a small domical chamber, with three branches, very 
like that at New (jrauge, but on a smaller scale. In the centro 
of this aparlmcnt was one large flat basin (L), similar iu form, 
and, no doubt, in purpose, to the three at New Grange, but 
far larger, being 5 feet by 3 feet. The southern branch of the 
chnmber extends to K iu a curvilinear form for abnut 28 feet, where 
it is stni)]>ed for the present by a large stone, and another partially 
obstructs the passage at 8 feet in front of the. terminal stone. 

The Academy have not yet published any account of their 
diggings, nor dors any plan of the mound exist, t^o far as I know, 
anvwherc. Even its d-niensions are unknown. Pemling these 


LIuiuiLfik Iu Muiittd si IHintli. Fttiiu A MS. |iliiti. 

' In cxtoniintirin <if this dtnflgwpornent, I imposoiblo to tnnn(>1 into tl:Mn, »n<l 

it miiBt lie c'Xplniniil llmt llioav Iriali aliiiogt a^ (liflioiilt In tiiiik xlinnii through 

o«ini!i iiru extr<Mu«ly ililtu'iilt ti vxidnre them. Thf only |>lun tx-H-ins t** Ix' to cnt 

wiUiuiit dc«trnyin^- them. Ilcing wliolly into lliciii. ami, ulicii (his is <louc, dii»- 

(TUitKjM.Hl v[ li<<.itt.' »loius, it is <iltiii«t fi};urcincnt if incvitnhli-. 

Chap. V, 



being uscertuined, it does look as if this clianiber was iu an 
envelope similar to tliat just suggesteJ as having existed at New 
Grange. In that case the original tumulus was probably 120 feet 
in diameter, and with its envelope 20D feet. 

The walls of the phambers of this tomb are even more richly 
and elaborately ornamented than those of the rhainbers at New 
Grange, and are in a more delicate style of workmanship. Alto- 
gether I shoulil be inclined to consider it as more modern than 
its more imjwslug rival. 

One other small tumulus of the cemetery is open, ll, is 
situated in the grounds of Nefterville House. It is, however, 
only a miniature repetition of the central chambers of its larger 
compeers, but without sculjitures or any other marked peculiarity. 

The mound called the Tomb of the Dagdha and the ten or 
twelve others which still exist iu this cemetery, are all, so far as is 
known, untouched, and still remain to reward the industry of the 
first explorer. If the three large mounds are those plundered 
by the Danes, which seems probable, this is sufficient to account 
for the absence of the usual sepulclind treasures, but it bv no 
means follows that the others wouJfl bo tqually biirreu of results. 
On the contrary, tltere being no tradition of their having been 
opened, and no trac^ of wounds in their sides, we are led to expect 
that they may be intact, and that tive bfjue:! and armour of the 
great Dagdha may still be found iu his linuuured grave. 

Nothing was found in the great mounds at New Grange and 
Dowth which throws much additional light either on tlieir age or 
the jx-rsous to whom they should bo appropriated. Two skeletons 
are said to have been discovered at New Grange, l|ut under what 
circumstances we are not told, and we do not consequently know 
whether to consider them as original or secondary interments. 
The finding of the coin of Valentiniau is mentioned by Llwyd in 
1699, but he merely says tliat they were found on the toji, or rather, 
as might be inferred, near the top, when it was uncovered by the 
removal of the stones for road-making ajid such purposes. Had it 
been found in the cell, as at 3Iiuuing IjOvv, it woiUd have given us a 
date, beyond which we could not ascend, but when and under what 
circumstances the coin of Theodosius was found, does not appear, 
nor what has become of either. A more important find was mn^le 



Cbap. V. 

by Lord Albert Cunynghani in 1842. Some workmen who were 
employed to dig on the mound near the entrance discovered tn'o 
Bplendid gold torques, a brooch, and a gold ring, and with them 
a gold coin of Gcta ' (205-212 a.i>.). A similar gold ring was 
found about the same time in the cell, and is in the posi>&ssion 
of Mrs. Caldwell, the wife of tlie proprietor. Although wo might 
feel inclined to hesitate about the value of the conclusions to be 
drawn from the first discovery of coins, this additional evidence 
seems to be conclusive. Three Boman coins found in different 
parts, at difterent times, and with the torques and rings, arc, it 
seems, quite sufficient to prove that it cannot have been erected 
before 380, while the probable date for its completion may he 
ibout 400 A.D. It may, however, have been begun fifty or sixty 
'years earlier. It is most likely that such a tomb as this was 
commenced by the king whose remains it was destineii to 
contain ; but the mound would not be heaped over the chamber 
fill the king himself, and probably his wives and sons, were laid 
there, and a considerable jM?riijd may consequently have elapsed 
Ijetvveen the inception and the completiotk of such a monument. 

At Dowth there was the nsual miscellaneous assortment of 
tliin<'9. A great quantity of globular stone-«hot, probably sling- 
stones • and in the clmniber fragments of burned bones, many of 
which proved to be human ; glass and amber beads of unique 
shape, portions of jet bracelets, a curious stone button, a fibula, 
bone bodkins, copper pins, and iron knives and rings. Some 
years ago a gentleman residing in the neighbourhood cleared out 
a portion of the pas^^age, and found a few iron antiquities, some 
bones of mammals, and o small stone urn, which he presented to 
the Irish Academy.' In so far as negative evidence is of value, 
it may be remarked that no flint implements and nothing of 
bronze— unless the copper pins are so classed — was found in any 

of these tumuli. 

The ornaments found inside the chambers at Dowth are similar 
in general character to those at New Grange, but, on the whole, 
more delicate and refined. Assummg the progressive nature of 

« ' A«-hBxilopiB.' XXX. pi. xii- P- l-*"- 

- Sir W. WiMp, ' Thfl TViync (ind the Blockwator,' p. 209. 

Chap. V 



Irish art, which I see no reason for doubting, they would indicate a 
more modern age, and this, froui olher cirtiimstjiuces, seoma more 
tJian probable. 

Though spi- \\f/ 

rals are fre- t " v>XV/ 

quent, the 
Dowtb. oriui- 
roents a'^suuie 
more of free- 
traced vege- 
table forms. 
It is not so 
easy to iden- 
tify the figures 
in the annexed 
woodcut (No. 
70), as in the 
palm -branch 
in NewG range 
(woodcut No. 

67), but thtre can be little doubt that the intention was to 
simulate vegetable nature. At other times forms are introduced 
which a fanciful antiquary rat*;ht suppose were intended for 
serpents, or writing, or, at all events, jis Imviiig s^mie occult 
meaning. The annexed from a rubbing ifi curious, as some- 

Ornimcnl in liowth. From n rubbinc. 

L '^ - - — = 

■' "" -.w . 

-= •^— " 

^^ ^--^r!^-^.^. 

"^ -=*. L_: V- T 

i Ivl 


OiitiiUK'iit tti I'ottih Kiuin It riiliUng. 

thing very similar occurs on a stone at Coilsfield, in Ayrshire, 
and may really be intended to suggest an idea, but of what nature 
we are not yet in a position to guess. It is not so like nn iil|iha- 

i' If 



Chap. V. 

betical character as tboae at New Grange (woodcut No. 68), and 
till that is shown to have a ineaning, it is hardly worth while 
8j>eculatiiig with regard to this one. We shall be in a better 
position to judge of the value or importance of these ornament<», in 
an artislie or chrouniuL-trie point of \ie\\', when we have examined 
those at Lougli Crew and elsewhere; but. even irrespectively of 
such cunsiderations, no one can examine the monuments on the 
banks of the Boyne without being struek with the elegance as well 
as the endless variety of the ornaments wliii;h cover their walls. 

If, however, the material proofs are deficient, the> written evi- 
dence is clearer and more satisfactory than w itli regard to any group 
of tombs in the three kingdoms. In the passage above quoted, 
it is said " that tliey " — the kings of Ireland — " were interred 
at Brugh from the time of Crimthann (a.d. 76) to the time of 
Leoghaire, the son of Niall (a.d. 458), except three persons, 
namely. Art tiie son of Conn, and Cormnc the son of Art, and 
Niall of the nine hostages," — the father of Leoghaire. Tlie reason 
given why Art and Cormac were not buried here was that they 
had embraced Christianity. Art was buried at a place called 
Treoit; Cormac on the right bank of the Boyne at a place 
called Ros-na-rigb, opposite Brugh; and Niall at Ochaim. But 
having disposed of these three, we have still some twenty-seven 
kings to find graves for, and only seventeen mounds can now 
b© traced at Brugh ; and, besides these, we have to find tlie 
tombs of the Dagdha, and his three sous, and Etan the poetess and 
her son Corpre, and Boinn, the wife of Nechtan, " who took with 
her to the tomb her small houml Dabilla," aud a vast number of 
nobles of Tuatlia de Daiiann and others. It is impossible to find 
places for all these perisons in the graves now visible, if each was 
buried separately. It may be, however, that the great mounds 
contained several sepulchres. The form and jwsition of the 
chambers at Dowth (woodcut No. 6fl) i>erhap8 countenances such a 
supposition ; but many may have been buried under smaller cairns, 
long since removed to make way for agricukural improvements, 
aud many may yet bo dJscovorod if the place be carefully and 
systematically explored, which docs not yet seem to have been 
done. Before, however, anything like certainty could be arrived 
at as to the distribution of these graves, it would be necessary 

Jhap. V. 



that the great mounds should W tlionHighly explore;), and this, 
rom the nature of their material, will practically involve their 
destruction, which would be very much to be regretted. Mean- 
while, if I Hiiiy he allowed to ofter a conjecture, I would say that 
New Grange might be the " (Jumot or Commeiisurate grave of 
[Cairbre Lifeachair." He, according to the Four Masters, reigned 
from 271 to 288 — bnt probably fifty or sixty years later— and 
seems to have been a king dL'serving of a right royal sepulclire ; 
fand I feel great confidence that the unopened tumulus near tlie 
river may be what tradition says it is — the grave of the Great 
Dugdbft, the hero of Moytura, With regard to the others, it 
would not be safe to hazard any ojiiiiiou in the present state of 
our knowledge. For the present it is sufficient to feel sure that 
we have a group of monuments all, or very nearly all of which 
were erecte<l in tbe first four centuries of the Clirisliau era, and 
from this basis we may reason with tolerable certainty regarding 
^Ihe other groups which we may meet with in the course of this 

Lough Crew. 

At a distance of twenty-five miles nearly due west from Bmgh 
na Boinn, and two miles south-east from Oldcastle, is a range of 
hilLs, called on the Ordnance map Slieve uuCulJiagh — the hugs' or 
witches* liill. It is upwards of 200 feet above the level of the sea, 
id tlie most conspicuous elevation in that part of the country. 
On the ridge of this range, which is about two miles in exttut, are 
situated from twenty-tive to thirty cairns, some of considerable 
[size, being 120 to 180 feet in diameter; others are much smaller, 
and some so nearly obliterated that tlieir dimensions can hardly be 
now ascertained. Till seven or eight years ago this cemetery was 
entirely unknown to Irish antiquaries, luid llie positions uf the cainis 
I were hardly even indicated in the Ordnance Survey ; but in 18G3 
tliey attracted the attention of Mr. Eugene Conwell, of Trim. In 
the years 18(57-8 ho was enabled, with the assistttuce and co-opera- 
tion of the late Mr. Isaper, of Lough t'rew, the proprietor of the 
[soil, to excavate and explore tbe whole of them. A brief account 
[of the results which he obtained was submitted to the Royal 
[Jrish Academy in 1808, and afterwards [uinted by him for private 


Chap. V. 

circnlatiou in 186ti; but tlie greater \vorlj> with jilnns and 
drawings, in whiuh he intends fully to illustnite the whole, is still 
ill (ibfyancf, owing to want of enrounijrcinent, Whfr cunnjleted 
it will be one of the most Vfiluuble eoiitrlljuttiins to our archasjo- 
logit-al knowle<lge that we have received of Iat»3 years. Mean- 
while tlie following meagre particulars are derived from Mr 
('ouwell's parai»lili't and the intormation I picked up during a 
personal visit wliit^h I nuido to tlie spot in Lis company in the 
Autumn of lust year. The illustrations are all from his drawings. 
One of the most perfect of these tiinujli is that distingnished hy 
Mr. Conwell (us ( 'aim T («on<|put No. 7^). It st;iiid-« on the highest 



Culm T. ttl LougU Crew,— From « |>Uii by E. OouwcIL 

poitit of the hilJ, and is consequently the most conspicuous. It is 
a tnineated cone, 11(5 foet in diameter at ba«e, and with a sloping 
sidr', between 60 and 70 feet in length. Around its base are 
thirty-seven stones, laid on edge, nml vnryiug from 6 to 12 feet in 

Chap, V. 



leugtli. They are not detaclnnl, as at New Gniuge, but form a 
retaining wall to the mound. On the north, and set about 4 feet 
back from the circlo, is a large stone, 10 feet long by ti high, and 
2 feet thick, weigliing consequently above 10 tons. The Hp[M^r 
part is fashioned as a rude seat, from wliich it derives its name of 
the Hag's Chair (woodcut No. 73), and there can ba little doubt 
but that it was intended as a seat or throne ; but whether by the 

• • • •^<» 

T3; The Htf't Chair, l^ngli CifW. — Kruiii a ilruuinK 1>y E:. CvDwrll. 

king who erected the sepiilchn', or for wliat jmrjiose, it is diniciili 
now to say. 

On the eastern side of the mound the stones forming the peri- 
phery of the cairii curve iu wards fur eight or nine yards on each 
side of the spot where tlu? entrance to the fbamber commences. 
It is of the usual cnieiforni plan, and 28 fuet long from the entrance 
to the flat stone closing the innermost cell ; the dome, conse- 
quently, is not nearly under the centre of the tumulus, as at New 
Grange, and lends something like pnobabtiity to the notion that the 
cell at Dowtli (woodcut No. fii*), was really the principal sepulchre. 
Twenty-eight of the stones in the chamber were ornamented with 
devices of various sorts. Two of them aro represented on the ac- 
companying woodcut (No. 74), which, with the drawings on the 
Hag's Chair give a fair idea of their general character. They are 
certainly ruder and less artistic than those on the Boyne, and so fur 
would indicate an earlier age. Nothing was fouix! in thechaiubsrs 



Chap. V. 

of this tomb l»iit a quantity of charred human >xines, perfect human 
teeth, mixed with the bones of animals, apparently stags, and one 
hnuize pin, 2^- iucLes long, with a hofid ornamented and stem 
slightly 80, and still preserving a lieautilnl green polish. 











Two Siuae» In C*lni T, Loagh Crew.— fcl, Ouiiwclt. 

CaJru Ij (woo<lcut No. 75), a little further west, is 135 feet in 
diameter, and snrroiindal by forty-two Htonco, similar to tlmse in 
t'airn T. The same eurvo inwards of these stones marks the 
entrance here, which is placed 18 feet from the outward line of 
thp circle. The chamber here is nearly of the same dimeu- 
sious as tlmt last describetl, being 29 feet deep and 13 across 
its greatest width. In one of the side chambers lies the 
largest of the mysterious flat basins that have yet been dis- 
covered, 5 feet y inches long by 3 feet 1 inch broad, the 
whole being tooled and picked with as much care and skill 
as if executed by a modern niHsou. This one has a curious nick 
in its rill), but as it docs not go through, it coidd hardly be 
intended as a spout. Till some uurifled tomb is found, or 
something analogous in other countries, it is extremely difficult 
to Siiy what the exact use of those great stone saucers may 
have been. That the Ixnly or ashes were laid on them is more 
than prubiible, and thoy may then have been covered over 
with a lid like a dish-cover, such as are found on tombs in 
.Southern Babylonia.' Under this basin were found great quan- 

' ' Journal Royal Arcbwological Siyricty,' xr. p. 270. 

CH4I-. V. 



titles of charred Imnian Ixrties an<,I forty-eigUt kumuu teeth, 
besides a perfectly rounded syenite ball, still preserving its 
original polish, also some jet and other oniamenta. In other" parts 
were found quaiititica of churred bones, some rude pottery and 
bone iraplements, but no objocts iu raetiil. Tlio wrnKk-ut repre- 
senting the cell, with large basin, gives a fair iden of the general 
style of sculpture in this and the neighbouring churns. The jmrts 
cross-hatihed seem to linvo been engraved with a sharp metal 









Oell In Calm L, itt Loi\fh Crrv.— K ConwelL 

tool. The ordinary forms, however, both here and on the lk>yiie 
are picket! ; but whether they were executed with a haninier. or 
pick direct, or by a chisel driven by a hammer, is by no means 
clear. My own impression is, that it would be very difficult 
indeed to execute these patterns witli a hammer of any sort, and 
that a chisel must have been used, but whether of flint, bronze, 
or iron, there is no evidence io show. 

C'aini H, though only between .3 and (J foet in height ami ."14 feet 


Chap. V. 

in diameter, seems to have been the only cue on the hill not pre- 
viously rifled, and yielded a most astonishing collection of objects 
to its explorer. The cell was of the usual cruciform plan, 24 feet 
from the entrance to the rear, and 16 feet across the lateral 
chambers. In the passage and crypts of this cairn Jlr. Conwell 
collected some 300 fragments of Initnan bones, wliich must have 
belonged to a considerable number of separate individuals; 
14 fragmentis of rude pottery, 10 pieces of flint, 155 sea-shells in 
a perfect condition, besides pebbles and small polished stones, 
in quaiilities. 

The most remarkable part of the collection consisted of 4884 
fragments, more or less perfect, of bone implements. These are 
now in the Dublin Museum, and look like the remains of a 
paper-knife-maker's stock-in-trade. Most of them are of a knife 
shape, and ulmnst all mtjre or less jwlished, but without further 
ornamentation ; but 27 fragments appear to have been stained, 
11 i>erforated, 501 engraved with rows of fine lines ; 13 combs 
were engraved on buth .sides, and 91 engraved by eumpass with 
circles and curves of a higli order of art. On one, in cross-hatch 
lines, is the representation of an antlered stag, the only attempt to 
depict a living thin^ in the colleeliun. 

Besides these, there were found in this cairn seven beads Of 
amber, three small beads of glass of difi'ercnt colours, two frag- 
ments, nnd a curious molten drop of glass, 1 inch long, tmmp^t- 
sha|>ed at one end, and tapering towanls the other exlremily; six 
perfect and eigiit fragments of bronze rings, and seven .specimens 
of iron implements, but all, as might be expected, very much cor- 
roded by rust. Oue of these presents all the appearani'c of being 
the leg of a compass, with whieli the bone implements may have 
been engraved, and one was an iron punch, 5 inches long, with 
a chisel-shaped point, bearing evidence of the use of the mallet 
at the opposite end. 

Cairn D is the largest and most important monument of the 
group, being 180 feet in diameter, and though it is very njuch 
dilapidated, the circle of fifty-four stones which originally sur- 
rounded it can still be tmced. On its eastern side the stones curve 
inwards for about twelve paces, in the form universal in these 
cau-ns ; but though the exj-lorers set to work industriously to follow 


umau ctiEW. 


out wLat they considered a sure " lind," they could not pene- 
trate the mound. The stones fell iu npcm them so liist, and the 
risk tliey riin was so great, that they were forced to abamloo 
the idt?a of tnnnelliiip, and thougli a large body of men wurked 
assiduously for a furtnif^lit trying to work duwn from above, tliey 
failed to penetrate to the central or any other ehambers. It still, 
therefore, remains a mystery if there is a blind tope, like many 
in India, or whether its secret still remains to reward sonje more 
fortunate set of explorers. If it has no central chanibtT, tlie 
curving inwards of its outer circle of stones is a curious instance 
of adherence to a sacred form. 

The other mouumeutjj on tiio hill do nut pieseut any features 
worth enumerating in a general summary like tlie present, though 
they would be most interesting in a monograph. Though diflcring 
greatly in size and in richness of omamontation, they all belong 
to one class, and apparently to one age. For our present purpose 
one of the most intirestiug peculiarities is that, like the group on 
the banks of the Boyne, this is essentially a cemetery. There are 
no circles, no alignnieats, no dolmens, no rude stonn monuments, 
in fact. All are carefiiUy built, and all mure or less ornamented; 
and there ia a gmdutiou and progression throughout the whole 
series widely different in this re8|>ect front the simplicity and 
rudeness of the English monuments described in the hist chapter. 

It now only remains to try to ascertain who those were wIjo 
were buried in tln'se tumuli, and when they were luid there to 
their rest. 80 far as Ibe evidenoe at iireseiit stands it hardly 
seems to me to admit of doubt but that this is the cemetery of 
Talt«n, so celebrated iu Irish legend and poetry : — 

"Tlio host ot'Orcftt Mfiitli arc buried 
In the middle of the Lordly I3rujj;L ; 
The Great Uitoniuns used to bury 
At Till ten with iioiui), 

"Tlie true Ultunians, before Conchubar. 
Wero evcT buriwl at Taken, 
Until the death of trium])li:uit man, 
Throngh which they lost llieir glory."' 

' I'etrio'* ' RfiiUMl Ttiwere,' p. lO.'i. 



Chap. V. 

The distance of the spot from Telltowii, the uiaik'ni representative 
of Taken, is twelve miles, whinli to some might appear an 
obji'etion, Ijiit it must be reincmbored tiitit Bru^h is ten miles 
Ironi Tiira, where all the kings!, whu were buried thero ; 
and Hi Datbi and others of them were buried at Rath Cro^han, 
sixty-live miles of!', distance seems hardly to be an objection. 
Tnileed, aniiin^ a jienple wlio, as ovideiioed by their monuments, 
piiiil so min'h attention to funeral rites and ceremonious honours 
to tbeir dead, as the Pagan Irish evidently did, it mast have 
mattered little whether the hist resting-place of one of their kings 
was a few mib'S nearer or further fnun lu's residence. 

It unist not, hnwi'ver, be forgotten, tliat the projier resiilonce of 
tlje TJltonians, who are said to have been buried at Tall en, was 
Emania or Aruiagli, forty-five miles di.staut as tiie crow flies. 
Why they should ehon.'se to be buried in Meath, so near the rival 
eapila! of Tara, if tbat famed city then existed, is a mystery 
which it is ur>t eaKy to solve : but that it wjuj so, there seems no 
diHibt, if the traditions or Books of the are at all to b« 
dejjended upon. If their real residence was so distant, it seems of 
trifling conseijuence whether it was ten or twelve miles from the 
phice we now know as Telltown. There niusit have been some 
very strong reason for inducing the Ultoninns to lairy so far from 
their homes ; but as that reason lias not been recorded, it is idle 
to attempt to guess wliat form it took. "What wouhl appear a 
most rea.sonable suggestion to a civilized Sjixou in the nineteenth 
century would in all probability be the direct antithesis of the 
motive that would guide an uncivilized U(dt in the firet century 
before Christ, and we may therefore as well give up the attempt. 
Some other reason than that of mere proximity to tlie jdace of 
residence governed tho Irish in the choice of the siltiatiiju of their 
cemeteries ; what that was we may hereafter be able to find out, — 
at present, so far as I know, the materials do not exist for forming 
an opinion. If, however, tin's is not Talten, no graves have been 
found nearer Telltown, which wouhl at all answer to the descriiv 
tions that remains to uscvf this celebrated cemetery ; and, till they 
are found, these I»ough Crew mounds seem certainly entitled to the 
dis<tiuclinn. I cannot see that the matter is doubtrul. 

If this is so, there is little difliculty in determining who were 

Chap. V. 



buried here. Bcssides the testimony of tlie pnein just quoted, it 
is stated in the Book of the ' Cemeteries ' — " At Tjvilten the kings 
of Ulster were used to Lury vig? OUamh Fodhla with his des«^en- 
dants down to Conohobhur, who wished to be cnrried to ii place 
between Slea and the sea, with his face to the east, on account of 
the faith which he hjid embraced." This conversion of Con- 
chobhar is one of the most famous legends in Irish ancient 
history. He was wounded iu the head by n bull tliat remained 
there, and was ordered by his fihysieiau to ri'main cjuiet and avoid 
^Wi excitement as his only cliance of surviving. For seven years 
he followed this advice; but when he saw the ech'pse of the sun, 
and felt the great convnlsion that came over natnre, the day that 
Christ was crucified, he turned to his Dniid and asked, " Wliat is 
this?" To which BacnicJi, the Drnid, replied: "It is true, 
indeed, Christ, the Son of God, is this day crucified by the Jews." 
"At the recital of this enormity, Conchubhar felt so indignant 
that he went nearly mad : his excitement wjis so great that the 
ball burst from his head, and be died on the very Friday on which 
the crucifixtdU twk place." ' All this may be silly enough, as 
the electric telegrnph was not thou in use, but it is worth quoting 
here, as it seems that it was to establish this synchronism that the 
chronology of the periotl was falsified to the (^xlent of half a 
century at least. Cuncliobliar and t Vimthiinn witc the two kings 
of the two great dynasties then reigning iu Ireland wliom the 
annah'sts strive to synclironize with Christ, and though they fail in 
that, they establish beyond much doubt that those kings were 
contemporaries. If to this wc add the fact so often re[)eated by 
the authorities quoted above, that Couchobliar wns the last of 
his race buried at Talten, and that Crimthann was the first of his 
L"ne buried at Brugh, we obtain a tolerably clear idea of tlie 
liistory of these cemeteries. Brugh, in fact, succeeded to Tnllen 
on the decline of the Ultouiau dynasty and the rise of Tuatha 
de Dauanu after the victoriejj at Moytura had established their 
supremacy and they htul settled themselves at Tara. 

The character of tho sculptures in the two groups of monu- 

' O'Cnrry • ' Materials for Irish History,' p. C3C et *eqq. Bo, too, vrms Tiglicnu»ch 
imIcIh, in the year 33 :— " Conwrfwres ftlius Xessas ohiit h<ic anno,"— ^»h. p. IS. 



Chai'. V. 

ments fully bears out this view. The carvings at Lough Crew 
are ruder and less artistic thau those at Brugh. They are more 
disconnected, and ofttMier mere cap markings. Tlie three stones 
represented in the preceding and following woodcuts (Nos, 7tj 
and 76), are selected from a great many in the Conwell portfolios 
as fair average specimens of the style of sculpture common at 
Lough Crew, and with the woodcut Xo. 73, ri:"])reseDting the 
Hag's Chair, and No. 70, the cluunl>er in c^iirn L, will convey 
a fair notion of the wliole. In no one instance does it seem 

|xi8sible to guess what 
these figures were meant 
• • e* x^^-^''""'""*^' *^ represent. No ani- 

•• • 





T«. SlOPiM In Ctlni T. Uniigli Crew.— E. OunwcU. 

nial or vegetable form 
can be recognized, even 
afttT alio wing the utmost 
latitude to the imagina- 
tion ; nor do the circles 
or waving lines seem in- 
tended to convey any 
pictorial ideas. Heauty 
of fttnu, a.s a decora- 
li<in, seems to have been 
all the old Celt aimed 
at, and he may have 
been thought successful 
at the time, though it hardly conveys the same impression to 
modern minds. The graceful scrolls and spirals and the foliage 
of New (Jrango and Dowth do not occur there, nor anything in 
the least approaching to them. Indeed, when Mr. Conwell's book 
is published, in which they w'ill all be drawn in more or les-i 
detail, I believe it will be easy to arrange the whole into a 
progressive series illustrative of tl»e artistic history of Ireland for 
five centuries before the advent of 8t. I'nlrick. 

It would be an extremely dangerous line of argument to 
apply this law of progre&sive development to all conntries. 
In India, especially, it is very frequently reversed. Tiu' rudest 
art is often much more modern than the most refined, but in 
Ireland this appirently never was the case. From the earliest 

Chap. V. 

(:l/>VKR HIT.L. 


scratchinjjs un pillar stones, dowti tu the E-nglish, her 
art aeems to have been unfulterinj^ly progressive ; and, Lejiinniiig 
with these two cemeterira, which ore probaMy the olde.>t iiu-u- 
nabulii of her nrt. its history iiii<;lit be written without a gap, or 
halt, till it blooiueJ iu those exquisite mamiscripts and crosses and 
works of gold and metal which still excite such unqualitied 

There may be, and no doubt are, mtmy other sculptured graves 
in Ireland, but they have not yet been explored, or, at least, 
published. One, however, deserves notice; not, certainly, on 
account of its magnificence, bat for several points of interest 
which its peculiarities bring out. It is situated in a field 
near Clover Hill, not far from Carrowmore, the battlr-field of 
northern Moytnra.' It measures only 7 feet by 5, and is -1^ feet 
deep. Its cap-stone was originally flush with the earth, and no 
ciiirn or circle of stones marks it externally, nor is there any 
tradition of any such ever having existed. Tiie carvings on the 
stones forming the chamber 
are shallow, and now very 
indistinct, from l.»elDg over- 
grown with lichens and moss, 
but their general rhnractf^r 
will be understoml fmrn the 
annexed woodcut. Its cha- 
racter is something between 
the sculptures of Tallen and 
Brngh, which wmild agree very 
well with its date if we 8Up|X)se it connected with the battle-field. 
This, however, is very doubffnl, f(>r there are few thin<cs that come 
out more protninently in tJie investigation than tlie fact that 
all those mouuments which iire directly or indirectly connected 
with battle-fields are literally rtide and untouched by the chisel, 
but that all, or nearly all those wliich are in cemeteries, or have 
been erected leisurely by, or for, those who occupy them, are 
more or less ornamented. It may, however, be that some one 

Sinnn In Sculptuird Gnvn, Cluver Ulll. 
Krom a iktlcb bjr the Aiitbor. 

• • Pctri«-'s Life,' by f^t-ikes, p. 2.'JC. 



Chap. V. 

connected with the battle wished to be l>iirie<I near his oom- 
paiiions who fell thf?re, and i>rf'jmred this last resting-place for 
himself, but we must know more before such speculations can 
he of much value. 

One otluT point is of interest regarding this tomb. If the 
minor sepulchres at Brugh were like the one flush with the 
surface, wo rnniiot gue.>js. how many may yet be thoro undiscovered, 
and equally diflicult to say how they are to be disinterred. 


It is extremely difficult to write anything that will be at all 
satisfactory regarding the few standing solitary dolmens of 
Ireland. Not that their history could not be, perhaps, easily 
ascertained, but simply because every one has hitherto been 
content to consider them lis pre-historic, and no one has conse- 
quently given him.self the trouble to investigate the matter. The 
first point would be to ascertain whether any of them exist on 
any of the battk-tields mentioned iu the Irisli anufJs. My impres- 
BJon is that they do not : but tliis question can only be answered 
satisfactorily by some one more intimately acquainted with the 
ancient jMiliticul geogiaphy of Ireland than I can pretend to be. 
No connexion has, however, yet l>een shown to exist between 
them and any known battle-fields, and till this is done, we must be 
content to consider them as the graves of chiefs or distinguished 
individuals ashes are contained in the urns which are 
generally found uiuh^r tiieu). 

A still more important qxiestion hinges on their geographical 
distribution. Notliing can be more unsafe tlian to fotmd any im- 
portant deductions on what is known on this subject at present. 
If all those which are described in books and in journals of 
learned societies were marked on « !im[), the conclusion would 
be that the most of them are found on the east coast of Ireland ; 
a dozen or so iu Waterford and \\'exford ; as many in Dublin 
and Sleath, and an equal numbtr iu County Down. But this 
knowledge may merely mean timt the east coast, possessing 
roads and towns, has consequently been more frequented by 
tourists and antiquaries than the remote or inaccessible west. 

Chap. V. 



Among the records, however, of Uie Ordnance survey, and in 
the Du Noyer drawings, tliere are probably sufficient materials for 
the purpose. Both are deposited in tlie Libniry of the Royal Irish 
Academy at Dublin; but any person who would attempt fo nse 
these materials for the jnirpose of such an investigation, must be 
not only an enthusiast, but have his whole time at his disposal. 
The disarray in wiiifh thoy now exist renders them ntterly 
useless to any onliiiary stndi-nt of Irish antiquities. 

The Irish themselves seem to have only one tradition regarding 
their dolmens. They call them all " Beds of Diarmid and Graine," 
and that is the name applied to them in the sheets of the Ordnance 
Survey. The eloj)enieut of Diarmid with Graine, the daughter of 
Cormac Mac Art, whose date, according to the Four Mastero, was 
A.D. 286, is one of the moat celebrated of Irish legends.' The 
story is, that being pursued all over Ireland by Finn, the disap- 
pointed suitor, they erected these iw places of shelter, or for hiding 
in. This is, of course, absurd enough ; but it shows that, in the 
opinion of the Irish themselves, they belong to the period which 
elapsed between the birth of Christ and the conversion of the 
people to Christianity. Tliere is no hint in any Irish book that 
any of them were erected before the Christian era, nor anything 
that would lead us to suppose that any are more modern than the 
time of St. Culumba, 

The most extensive group of free standing dolmens known to 
exist in Ireland, is that in or near Glen Columbkille, at the 
extreme western puitit of DonegaL No account of these has 
been published — ^o ftir as I know — in any book or journal, and 
I am indebted for all I know about them to my friend, Mr. 
Norman Bloore, who jiaid a visit to the spot this autumn to 
obtain the information 1 wanted, and it is from his deacriptions 
that the following is abstracted.^ 

The principal groups are situated in Glen Malin More, a small 
valley running parallel to that of Coliiiiibkille, about two miles to 
the southward of it. There are three groups ou the north side of 
this valley and two ou the south, extending from about half a mile 

' Eagene O'Curry, ' Mnterinla.* &r., .314, am. 

' Tbi( mo«t valuable cuulribution, with LU peimiasion, in printed I'u «s/auw in 
Appfiidix A. 



Chap. V. 

from the sea-shore to about three miles inward. The finest group 
is that next the sea on the Bouth side, and consists of six dolmens, 
aituated noai'ly in n row, about 50 or 100 feet apart, and is accom- 
panied by some cairns, but so .small as hardly to deserve the name of 
Tumuli. The stones of the dolmens range from 6 to 12 feet in height, 
and their eap-stones are still there, though some have been displaced. 

The second group, a little way up the glen, consists of ten 
dolmens arranged in two parallel rows, but they are neither so 
large nor so perfect as those Dearer to the sea. 

Nearly 0]>p08ite the first-named group on the shore, but on the 
north siile of the stream, are two dulmenij so nearly contiguous 
to each other thnt they may almost be considered us one structure. 
About half a mile to the east of this ia a fourth group, consisting of 
four dolmens, ocrompanied by cairns, and two at least of the former 
are of considerable mjignitti'ence. The group farihest up the glen 
consists of five or six dolmens, but all except one in a ruinous state. 

The number of dolmens in Glen Columbkille is not given by 
Mr. Mtiure ; but, from the context, there must be five or six, 
making up twenty to thirty for the whole grouj). So far as can be 
judged rroni the description, the group in Glen Cohimbkille seems 
to have better fitted and more complete cliambers; consequently, 
I should infer it lo Ije more modern than the otiiers. It wouhl, 
however, require careful personal inspection to classify them ; 
though I have no doubt it could be done, and that, with a little 
care, these six groups could be arninged iuto a consecutive series, 
whatever the initial or Jiuttl date miiy turn out to be. 

The general construction and appeaiunce of thfse tombs is that 
of the so-called Calliagh Birra's house in Meath, described further 
on (woodcut No. 80). From its situation and appearance, there 
seems little reason fur doubt that the Jfeath example belongs 
to tlie filth or the si.\lh century; and if this is so, as little for 
doubting that these dolmens in Donegal are of about the same 
age, or, in other words, that tin's mode of intennent continued to 
be practised in certain parts of Ireland, especially near the coasts, 
down to the entire conversion of the inhabitants to Christianity. 

There are no other traditions, so far as I know, attached to any- 
thing in this glen, except those that relate to St. C'olumba, who, 
it is understood, long resided liere, attempting to cdiivfit the 

Chap. V. 



inhabitants to Christianity. Whether he was succeBsful or not 
is not clear. He certainly left Ireland in disgust, and sotthd in 
the first island whence the shores of his detested native land 
could not be seen. The only other tradition that seems to bear 
on the subject relates to St. Patrick, who, being unable to convert 
the " Demons " about Croagh Patrick, in Mayo, drove them into 
the sea ; but, instead of perishing, as they ought to have done, 
when he threw his bell after them, they reappeared, and settled 
on this promontory.' The meaning of this fable seems to be, that 
some tribe — not Celtic, for the Celts accepted ( 'hristianity whenever 
and wherever it was preached to tliem, but, it may be of Iberian 
origin — refusing to accept the doctrine, was expelled by force 
from their seats in Mayo, and sought refuge with kindred tribes 
in this remote eorner of the island, and here remained till 
St. Columba took up his abode among thera. If we might assume 
that the ColumbkiUe group belongs to a time immediately 
preceding their conversion, and that the other five groups in 
Malin More extended back to a date two, three, it may be four 
centuries before St. Coluraba's time, and that they belonged to 
an Iberian or C'eltibi'iiati race, we should have an hypothesis 
which at least would accoimt for all their peculiarities. Thougli 
in sight of Carrowmore, on the southern side of Sligo Bay, it 
is certain that these monuments have no afBnity with them or 
with the works of any of the Northern circle-building nations. 
Spanish or French they must be ; and we can hardly hesitate 
between the two. In Elizabeth's time, and as far back as 
history reaches, we have S2>auiard3 settled in Gahvay, and on the 
western coast of Ireland. Such eolouiaatiou,* if lasting, is not 
the work of any sudden impulse or of a long past time ; and the 
probability is that Iberians, before they learned to talk Latin, 

' "Cioagh Fatriok, a mountain in 
Majo, is faaiouB in logondar}' recordit aii 
tlie scene of St. Patrick's final conflicts 
with llie ileroons of Ireland. From ita 
Nuiiimit he drove them into the ocean, 
end completed their diacoiufiture by 
flioging hia bell among their retreating 
ranks. Tossing northward they emerged 
from the deep, and took np their abode 
in the eavnge wild-i of SeanR Cean. on 
tii» Ronth-west of Donegal, llerp they 

remained unmolested till our Tireonel* 
lian «aint (Columba) was directed by an 
anj^C'I to rid tjie place of its foul iuha- 
bilanta, After a violent stnigglo ho 
completely routed theni. His name was 
thenceforth a«iOciatod with tho tract, 
and the wild (laritih of Glen Columbkille 
preserves, in its topography and tradi- 
tions, a living commentary on the legend 
of St. Columba," &c — Reevei, Vita 
Si. Adam., p. 20*5. 

Q 2 



Chap. V. 

were settled here from a very early age. It is also probable from 
what we krfow of them and their monuments in the Peninsula, 
that they would refuse for a longer p<?rii>d than the Celts to l>e 
converted, and that thoy should use dolmens for their sepulchres 
in preference eitlier to tumuli or circles. 

Be this as it may, there are at least two points which we may 
a^ume negatively with regard to these dolmens. The first is, 
that tliey do not mark battle-fields : they huve none of the 
appearance of such monuments. The second is, that as there is 
no capital or fertile country in their neighbourhood, they are 
not a royal cemetery; they are not, indeed, claimed, even in the 
remotest manner, by any of the royal races of Ireland. They are, 
BO far as we can see, the sepulchres of a foreign colony settled on 
this spot. Wlietlier this is probable or not must, of course, depend 
on a corapnrisitn of these monuments witli these in the countries 
from which they are supposed to Iiave come. But, iu tlie mean- 
while, it may be assumed, as an hypothesis which at least accounts 
for the phenomena os we find them iu Ireland, even when judged 
of by their own internal evidence alone. 

One of the most interestinfij of tlie Irisli dolmens is that known 
as the Ginnt'w (Jrave, near Dnimbo, about four miks south from 
Belfast. The interest attached to this monument does not, however, 
arise so much from ttio grandeur of the stnu'ture itself, though it 
ninv be connidered a firstK-lass exanipk' and very tolfirably perfect, 
but from its standing solitary iu the centre of the largest cirdo 
in these islands, Avebury only excepted. The circle is about 
580 feet in diameter, and cousequtMvtly more than six acres 
in f'xtout, and is formed, not as at Avelmry or Arbor Low, by a 
diti'h dug inside, and the earth so gained being used to form 
a rampart, but by the top of a hill being levelled and the earth 
removed in so doing being thrown up so as to form a circular 
nmphitheatre. Although, consequently, the rampart is not so high 
outside as at Avebury, the whole surface internally having been 
lowered, the internal effect is very much grander.* 

' I cannot liolp thinking tliat the 
grc«t rath at Dnwth won furiupal by a 
aimilar imMTu. It niny nnt, tlirrcruro, 
Hftpr nil, Ik' a rf*iil<'iitinl mtli, iih Bug- 

geatcd abore, but we ftre not yet in a 
poBltlcm to speak jKwitiTfly on such 

Chap. V, 



Whftt, then, was tho object of this great earthwork with one soli- 
tary dolmen in the fentre ? Was it simply the converse of such 
a moiinil as that at New Grange ? Was it that, instead of heaping 
the earlh over tfie sepulchral chamber, they cleared it away and 
iirranged it round it. so as to give it dignity? Or was it that 
funereal games or ceremonies were celebrated round the torab, 
and that the amphitheatre was prejtared to give dignity to their 
performance? These are questions that can only be answered 
when more of these circles are known and comjiarod with one 
another, and the whole subject submitted to a more careful 
examination than has yet been the ctvse. Jly impression is 
that it is the grave of a chief, and of him only, and that it is 
among the most modern of its class. 

At about the same distance west from Belfast is another dolmen, 
•which, in itself, is a much finer example than this Grave of the 
Giant. Its cap-stone 
is said to weigh 40 
tons, and is supported 
by 6ve upright stones 
of considerable di- 
mensions. It has, 
however, no circle 
or accompaniments. 
The Celtic name of 
the district in whiuli 
it stands was * Bailie 
clough toga),' i.e. the 
Town of the Stone of 
the Strangers, which 
would seem to indicate that it was not very old, nor its origin 
quite forgotten. 

At Knockeen, county Waterford, there is a remarkable dolmen 
(woodcut No. 78), though it neither has any surroundings nor 
liny tradition attached to it.^ It is interesting, however, as it 
looks as if we were approaching the form out of which Stoue- 
henge grew, which, I have not a doubt, could be found in Ireland 
if looked for. It is also interesting iis sliowing in plan (woodcut 

IVilmi!]! nt Kaockn<n. 

' Journttl Kilkcimy Arclmw, S<>c,' v. N. 8. \<. 47U. 

CHAr. V. 


Mii\ not far, consequently, from Ntw Grange, and t^Iose to 
Oreenmoiint. LocnUy it is known us the lioiise or tonxh of 
Calliagh Vera, or liirra,* the hag* wliose diuir is illustrated in 
woodcut No. 73, and whose name is indissoluhly connected with 
the Lough Crew tombs. According to the traditions collectetl by 
Dr. O'Donovnn and Mr. Conwell, she broke her neck before com- 
pleting the last tumiihis, and was buried, close to where she died,' 
in the parish of Diannor, where, however, nothing remains to 
mark the sput. 

From the motle in which it is constructed, it seems hardly 
doubtful that the original intention was to cover it with a 
tumulus; but probably it never was ocoupied. If I am correct 
in my surmise as to its age, its builder may have been con- 
verted to Christianity before he had occasion for it. But, be 
that as it may, its exposed position may serve to explain how a 
king or chief who had erected such a structure for his burying- 
place might very well have amused himself, if his Hfe were 
prolonged, in adorning both the interior and exterior with 
carvings. I cannot believe that the internal ornaments were 
ever executed by artificial light, and both, therefore, must have 
been completed before the chamber was buried. 

Last year. General Lefroy excavated a tumulus at Greenmount, 
Castle Bellingham, about five miles north of Calliagh Birra's 
so-called house.' In it he found a chamber, 21 feet long by 
about 4 feet wide and 5 feet high, enclosed by two pamllel walls 
built of small stones, and closed at each end by similar masonry. 

• If, instead of this gilly legend, we 
Muld connect tliin tomb with Bremlonua 
Biorro, the founder of thu monnatwy of 
Bina, now Porsonstown, it would b« u 
step in tbu right diroction. lh» date 
would accord j>erfi>ctly with the archi- 
tecturuJ inferenoes ; fur, according to 
Tigliernnch. ho died 673.* The diiBculty 
ia to Ijtlieve that a Chrialian " propbcia," 
»a he ia called, conld bnvo thonght of so 
pogMi a form of supulrhro. It La not 
eMy, however to eradioal*! long-cst»- 
Uiflhed habits, and bia countrymen may 

not, withio a century of 8t Patriok'i 
time, huvo inveiiteil and become recon- 
ciled to a new mode of burial. The 
Danes certainly buried iu howea for cen- 
turies after their conversion, and the 
Lriob muy have been equally ootiaerva- 
tive. It is, howoror, hardly worth while 
argning the question here, bb we have 
nothing but a oominnl idmilarity to go 
upon, which is never much to be relied 

' Eugene Conwell's pamphlet descrip- 
tive of the Lough Crew Tumuli, p. 2. 

* Rearii^ ■ VlU Aikmoinl,' p SIO. 



Chap. V. 


Plait ind ^.'Ctkm of CUmber iu Orr«iirD»iint Tiimulua. 
From 1 drawiiK by Qeoorul Letruy. 

The roof was formed of slabs in two rows, the lower projecting 
as brackets and the upper stretching across beyond the walls 

on each side. 
Ill plan, there- 
fore, it was iden- 
tical with the 
Birra's house, 
though longer 
and larger. IJut, 
from the mode 

iu wlik'h it was constructed, it was evidently more modern, — the 
most modern, in fact, of all the chambered sepnlcliral tnnmli 
yet discovered in IrehuirL 

Nothing was found in the chamber: it hud been rifled before, 
but by whom and at what period tliere wxis nothing to show. At 
9 or 10 feet below the summit, but still 6 or 7 feet above the floor 
of the chamber, a bronze monument was found with a Runie 
inscription on it, which, with the assistiuioe of the Danish anti- 
quaries, the General deeitltis to belong to the ninth century 
(852?). The one question is, is it coeval with tlie building 
of the tomb or its destruction ? 1'he name Domnal, or Domhnall, 
being Irish, and the position in wliich it was found seem to 
prove that it belongs to the period of the raising of the 
mound, not to that of its being rifled ; and if so, this grave 
approachL'S the age to which Maeshowe in the Orkneys may 

The circumstance, however, which interests us most at present 
is the sinjilurity of the Greenmoimt Chanilx?r to the Lady Birra's 
tomb. iSeing locally so close to one amitlier, and so like iu plan, 
they cunnot l>e very distant in date, though the more southern is, 
from its megalilhic ch.aracter, undoubteilly the more ancient of 
the two. If we allow two or three ceuturies it is a long stretch, 
though even that t.jkes us fjir away from any I'onnoxion with the 
monuments at Lough Crew, and barely allows of it following very 
clo.-* on those at Bruirh na Boinne. 

' TIh' fiiUoTdii^ pnrticulars arc taken from a Ila^)er liy Gimoml Lctiny, iu tin- 
AtcluKoUr^kAl Journal,' No, 180, 1870, i<|>. 281 et teqq. 

Chap, V. 



The similarity of this tomb with those at Glen Cohnubkillf 
has already been pointed out, and no doubt others exist in 
Irehmd, and will be brought to light us soon as attention is 
directe<l to the sulyect. But meanwhile they seem, so fur as we 
can at present judge, to make up an extensiye group of pagan or 

li-pagjm monuments, extending from the time of St. Patrick 
to that of St. Columba, and, as such, are among the latest, and 
certainly among the most interesting, monuments of the class in 

Vagne as all this may probably appear, there is one dolmen in 
Ireland which seems to have a date. Tlie great grandson of 
Dathi, whose red pillar-stone at Rdtli Croghan, erected a.d. 42S, 
we have already pointed out, was named Ceallach. He was 
murdered by his four foster-brothers through envy about the 
sovereignty. Tliey were hangpd for tlioir crime at a spot known as 
Ard-na-Iliagh, near Bullina, and were burioil 
on a hill on the opposite side of the river, 
where a dolmen still stands, and is pointed 
out as the grave of the four Maols, the mur- 
derers. These j)artict]lars are related in the 
Diuusenehus, in the Book of Lecan, and in 
the Annals of the Hy Fiaebrach, translated 
by Dr. O'Donovan (p. 3ii), who, in a note, adds 
that "this evidence, coupled with the description of the situation 
on the other side of the Moy, opposite Ard-na-Riagh, leaves no 
doubt of its identity." 

The dolmen in question has nothing very remarkalvlo about it. 
The cap-stone, which measures 9 feet by 7 feet, is hexngonnl in 
form, and is supported on three uprights, arranged siuiilarly to 
those of Kit's Cotty House. It is perfectly level, and stands about- 
4 feet above the level of the soil. The capstone may have been 
fashioned into its present form by art; but there is no sign of 
chiselling, and, altogether there is nothing tliat would attract 
3cial attention.' The interest rests with its date. If it can be 

82. Polinrn of llw Kour 
Mnolf, BdUlnn. 

' My nttciitiou wiu-i firnt ilirtclwl to ' ridcrcd it then as tliu 'luly omailwli in 
tliiu luonuiupul Ity )tlr. Siiiuiu-l ForgiiHon, I Irclanil nith un aiilhtuticntuil duU' ; liuti 
KccjMT of llio IWonU Uubliii. He con- us hv titui nut jmblialiiHl tUiit, I niual itot 



Chap. V. 

established that it belongs to the beginning of the sixth century, 
which I see iio more reason for doubting than Dr. O'Donoran does, 
it is a point gained in our investigation, in so far nt least as data's 
are concerned. 

It would be tedious to enumerate the other dolmens in Ireland 
which liiive neitlier dates nor peculiarities to distinguish them 
from others of tliis elans, but there is one raonunient of a mefa- 
litUic character in Ireland which must be described before leaving 
the country, though it certainly is not a dolmen, and its date and 
use are both mysterious at present. 

It stands in the deer park of the Hazlewood domain, about four 

miles east of Sligo- It is entered from the south, and consists 

^^ ^^^^ ^^ _ ^ first of an en- 

^m%9^ f\ P closure 54 feet 

nf ■ fl \J^'Mmmm^ by 24 feet. To 

'--3*^#iW^^ n^" i the westward 

of this is A 
smaller apart- 
ment, about 
30 feet by 12 
feet, divided 

into two by two projecting stones. At the east end are two 
similar apartments side by side, but smaller, the whole length of 
the structure measuring about 115 feet.' The three entrances 
from the central to the side aimrtments are trilithons of squared 
and partially dressed stones, and would remind ns of Stonehenge, 
were they not so small. They are only 3 feet under the lintel, 
and you must bow low indeed to pass under them. Indeed, when 
speaking of these enclosures as apartments, it must be borne 
'in mind that one can enter anywhere by passing between the 
stones, and stepping over the walls, which are eomi»sed of stones 
hardly ever touching each other, the highest being only 3 or 

Skrtob-PUn of Moaoroent In the Itrcr Park, Sllgo. 
Scale 40 feet Ui 1 Incb. 

be oonndcrcd as oommitling him to any- 
thing except beyond liio desire of putting 
me on the acent of an interesting iuvesti- 

■ There ia « model of thia curioiu 

struc'turein the Royal Aoftderoy Mnaeimi, 
Dublin, but not a c-«nwt onf; and Uie 
woodcut in their catalogue, taken from 
the model, haa still leas pretenaiona to 

Chap, V. 



4 feet high. 5Iany of them, tliongli ninssivo, have only half that 

What, then, is this curious ethfice? It can hardly he a 
totnb. it is so nnlike any other tomb which we know of. In plan 
it looks more like a temple; indeed, it is not unlike the 
arrangement of some Christian churches: but a {■liiirch or 
temple with walls pervious, as these are, and so li>w that the 
congregation outside can see oil that passes inside, is so 
anomalous an arrangement, that it does not seem ailraisaible. 
At present it is unique ; if some similar example could be 
discovered, jlerhaps we might guess its riddle. 

It is situated on the highest plateau of the hill. A little 
lower down is a very fine stone Cathair, or circular fort, with an 
L-shaped underground apartment of some extent in its centre; 
and on a neighbouring eminence are several round tumuli, which, 
looking like the burying-places of the " Castellani," increase the 
improbability of the upper building being a sepulchre. 

Before leaving this branch of the subject, it may be as well 
to allude to a point which, though not very distinct in itself, 
may have some influence with those who are shocked at being 
told that the rnde stone monuments of Ireland are so modern as 
from the preceding pages we should infer they were. It is that 
every allusion to Ireland, in any classical author, and every 
inference from its own annals, leml us to assume that Ireland, 
during the centuries that elapsed between the Christian era and 
St. Patrick, was in a state of utter and hopeless barbarism. The 
testimony of Diodorus* and Strabo^ that its iuhabitants Avere 
cannibals is too distinct to be disjmted, and according to the last 
named authority, they added to this an ugly habit of eating their 
fathers and mothers. These accusations are repeated by St. 
Jerome' in the fourth century with more than necessary emphasis. 
All represent the Irish as having all their women in common, 
and as more barbaroas than the inhabitants of Britain,* indeed, 
than any other people of Europe. Nor can it be pleaded that 

' IHodorua, v. p. 32. ' • Geo.' iv. p. 201. ■ Ed. Valersu, i. p. 413; ii. p. 335, 
' Taciliu, ' Agricola,' p. 24. 



Chap. V, 

these authors wrote In ignorance of the state of the country, for 
Ptolemy's description of the coasts aiid of the interior, of the 
cities and tribes shows an intimiite ncqiiaintanco with the island 
>vliich coiiM only be derived from observalinu.^ Their own aunnis 
do not, it is trup, repeat these scandals; but nothing we Jiow 
have can be said to have been reduced to writing in anything 
like the form in wliich we now possess it before the time of 
St. Patrick ; and even thut lias passed tlirongh edition after edition 
at the hands of patriotic Irislinieu before it assumed the form in 
which we now find it. Even these tell of nothing but fighting 
and assassination, iind of crimes of every sort and' kind. Even 
the highesst title of one of their greatest kings, Conn "of a 
hundred battles," is sufficiently indicative of the life which he 
led, and tlie state of the country he govenuHl, As we Jmve 
every reason to believe that the progress of Ireland was steadily 
and equably progressive, it is evident that if it was 8<i, a very short 
time prior to what we find in the early centnries of Christianity 
would take us back to the present state of the natives of 
Aastralia, and we should fin<l a cundition of society when any 
combined effort was impossible. So evident is this, not only from 
history, but from every inference that ean be gathered from the 
state of Ireland in Bul»ser[uent ages, that the wonder really is how 
8uch a people could have erected such monumt-nts as those we 
find on the banks of the Boyne in the early centuries of our 
epoch. The answer is, of course, that the idleness of savagea 
is capable of wonderful efforts. A natitui of men who have no 
higher ambition than to provide for their daily wants, and who 
are willing to submit to any tyrant who will undertake to 
supply these in oi-der to gratify his own pride or ambition, may 
effect won<lers. The pyramids of Egypt and the temples of 
Monthern India are examples of what may be done by similar 
means. But to effect such things, the people must be sufficiently 
organised to combine, and sufficiently disciplined to submit; and 
we have no reason to supjx)se that in Ireland tliey were either 
before the Christian era, and it is evi-u very difllcult to under- 
stand how they came to be so far advanced even in the time 


' Mercfttor, ' Gcogm.* {>. 81. 

Chap. V. 



of St. Patrick. That they were so their works attest; but if 
we had to trust to indications derived from history alone, the 
inference certainly would bo that the monuments are considerably 
more ino<lL'm than the dates alx>ve assigned to them; while it 
seems barely possible tlxey sliould bo carried back to any earlier 

There may be other rude stone monuments in Ireland besides 
those described or alluded to in the itret-eding pages, but tliey 
C!an scarcely be very numerous or very important, or they could 
hai-dly have escaped notice. They are not, eonsequendy, likely 
to disturb any conclusion that uiay be arrived at from the 
examination of those which are known. From these, we may 
safely conclude that all, with perhaps the exception of the Hazle- 
wood monument, are certainly sepulchral ; and all, unless I am 
very much mistaken, were erected subsequently to the building 
of Emania by Eochaidh OUamb Fodllia in tlie third century b.c. 
There may be cairns, and even dolmens, belonging to the earlier 
Hibemi before the tScoti were driven from the Continent, by tlio 
J'nnic or lioman wars, to seek refuge and repose in the green 
island of the West, but they must be insignificant, and probably 
roust remain for ever unrecognizable. 

l-'rom the date, however, of the founding of Emania we seem 
to have a perfectly consecutive and intelligible series commencing 
with the smaller and ruder cjiirns of Lough Crew, and rising at 
last to the lordly sepulchres of lirugh na Boinne. Between these 
two stand the monumeufs on the battle-fields of Moytura, and 
contemporary with the last are the Kaths on the far-famed bill of 
Tara. Beyond these we seem to have the tomb of the four I^roels, 
the so-called house of Culliagh liirra, and the dolmens of Glen- 
columbkille, all apparently belonging to the sixth century. The 
tumulus at Greenniount is later than any of these, but hardly 
belongs to our Irish series. 

From these we pass by easy gradations to the beehive cells 
and oratories of the early Christians. No such etono dwellings 
probably existed before the time of St. Patrick, or we should 
have foiuid traces of them at Tara, or Armagh, or Telltown ; but 
08 none such existed in these royal seats of the Scots, we may 




CH4F. V. 

fairly assume that for domestic purposes wood and turf alone were 
used. But as soon as the use of stone became prevalent for such 
purposes, as was the case with the introduction of Christianity, 
we soon find the round towers, with their accompanying churches, 
springing up in every comer of the land, and Irish architecture 
progressing steadily in a groove of its own, till its forms were 
modifiml, but not obliterated, by the changes introduced by the 
English coiKpierors, The history of their style from St. Patrick 
to the English conquerers Liis been so well written by Petrie, 
that little now remains to be said abont that division. But the 
history of the preceding seven centuries still remains for some 
one M'ith the leisure requisite to explore the country, and with 
patience and judgment sufficient to read aright the many enigmas 
which are still invalved in it, although the main outlines of the 
story seem sufficiently clear and intelligible. If it were written 
out iu detail and fully illustrated, it would prove a most valuable 
commentary on the dark period of the history of Ireland before 
the introduction of Christianity, and when the concomitant intro- 
duction of alphabetie writing tirst rendered her annals intelligible 
and trustworthy. 

In one other respect the study of these early monuments of 
Ireland seems to afford a subject of most engrossing interest. It 
18 in Ireland that we first begin to perceive the threefold division, 
whirh, if it can he established, will hm\ to the uuist imi>oi-tant 
elhnograpliical determinations. It appears that in this island the 
stone circles of the Scandinavians were intrndnced simultaneously 
with the dolmens of the Iberians or Aquitaniaus, and we can 
traee the rude barrows of the Celts growing up between them till 
they expanded into the great mounds of the Boyne. That these 
three forms ever were at any one time absolutely distinct is most, 
unlikely, and equally so that tliey should have lung remained so 
iu the same country, even if it could be shown that at any one 
time they belonged to three separate races. Generally, however, 
it seems hardly doubtful that they do point to etlinographic 
peculiarities, which may become most imixirtant. Combined 
with their history and a knowledge of their uses, these monu- 
ments promise to rescue from oblivion one of the most curious 
chapters of Irish history, which without them might remain for 
ever unwritten. 

Chap. VI. 





Whatever may be the case as regards Ireland, it is probable that 
tli(? megalitliic remains of Scotland are all kiiowu aud have been 
described more or less in detail. Such descriptions, however, as 
exiat are scattered through the pages of ponderous statistical com- 
pilations, or in the tninsactioiis of learned societies in England and 
ScotLind, or in local journals, so that it is extremely difficult to 
acquire a connected grasp of the whole subject, or to feel sure you 
do know all that is required, and still more difficult to convey to 
others a clear view of its outlines. Had any one done for the 
unsculptured stones of Suotlaud what John Stuart has done fur 
those that have devices in them, the case would be widely different. 
Except Daniel Wilson's ' Pre-historic Annals of Scotland' — what- 
ever that may mean — no general account is available, atid that work 
18 too brief and too sparsely illustrated to be of much use. The 
introductory matter, however, in Mr. Stuart's two volumes,* with 
Mr. Wilson's book, may suffice for most purposes ; but a complete 
koowleilge can only ho obtained by wading through the volumes 
of the Scotch and English Archreologias, and the transactions and 
proceedings of the various antiquarian societies of both countries." 

' * The Sculptured Stone* of Scotlan<l.' 
Two vols, quorto. Published by the 
Spalding Club. 185G ami 18C7. 

* A few years ago the late Mr. Rbind, 
of Sibster, left an estate worth more Ihnti 
400^ j»er annunL, to emlow a Profesbor- 
Hbip of Archaeology in Srotlam], who was 
bIjo to Bet EV9 curator of the monuments 
themselves, but unfortunately left it cn- 
cumbonxl by a life intercut to a relative. 
Two yettm ago an attempt wiw male to 
get the Government to auticipatu the 
fnUin^c in of the life inturttst, and ap- 
pninting Mr. Hluart to the office at once. 
Jt was, perhaps, tn« mui-h tn exi>ert so 

enlightened an act of liberality from n 
Government like o»ir». Itut their deoi- 
liion is to bo regrretted ; not only becaiuie 
wo may thereby lose nlto;H:elher the ter- 
Ticc8 of the best qnalified nma in Soot- 
land for the purpose, but more to becnutio 
the monuments are themst Ires fast dia- 
appearing without any record of them 
bting preserved. Agriculture is very 
■nercUess towards a big ^t(>ne or a huwo 
that stands in the way of the plough, 
and in so improving a country as Scot- 
hind, very little may remain for the next 
generation to rei-onl. 




Putting aside for the present the sculptured stones as iiardlj 
belonging to our subject, iind the " t-at " or battle stones, M 
their predecessors, though they are numerous, as might be ex- 
pected anitiug the imgrmciuus Celtic races who inhabited the 
country, the remaining rude stone monuments are not numerous. I 
The free-stuncliug dolmens are few and far l)ctwceii, some half- I 
dozen for the whole country, and none of them with liistories or ' 
traditions attached to theiu. The circ'Ios, however, are numerous 
and important, and to some extent are ealculatod to llirow light on ■ 
our investigiilinns. If we t-xcliule the fwr> battlt-llLlds r>f Moyturfl, 
they are intinitt-ly more iiiinif rous than those i'uutul in all Ireland 
and Wales put together, although thure ia only one group, that at 
Stennis in the Orkneys, that can compare with the great English 
examples. ■ 

Their distrihutiou too is interesting. No stone circles exist in 1 
the lowlands or south of the Frith of Forth and Clyde; and dolmens 
are rare in these region.s, though this may arise from the extent to 
which cultivation is rnrried on there. Until, however, a statistical 
account is compiled, aeeonipauied with a map, it is difficult to 
speak confidently on such a subject, but the general impression is 
that tlit^ lowlands are not, and never were, a region of mcgJilithic 
rc'iimjns; and if this is ho, it is one of the many proofs that the 
ilolnicns are ntiither pre-lionian nor Celtic. At least we have 
no rciLsou to believe that the Teutouie races who now occupy 
tliat country were settled there in the time of Agrirohi. But if 
the Celts or Pii.-ts who then iuliabited that bind liad been iit the 
habit of raising megalithic structures, we would have been more 
likely to tind traces of them in that densely inhabited country 
than in the bleak uplands of Aberdeenshire, or the bare pastures 
of the Orkney Islands. 

The district of Scotland where these circles and rude stone 
monuments most aboimd is on either side of a straight line drawn 
direct fiom Inverness to Alj<:^rdeen, which is a loculity where 
sculptured stones are also found in considerable numbers, but the 
rude stone monuments are not fouml in Angus or Fife, where their 
sculptured successors are most nnmci'ou^. The district of the circles M 
par excellence in Scotland, however, is not on the mainland at all, but 
in the northern and western isles. The principal group is in tl 


Cusp. VI. 



Orkneys ; next In importance are those in Lewes. They are found 
in Skye and Kantyre. There are several in An-an, and thence the 
transition is easy to the Isle of Man, where they meet the English 
group in Cumberland. 

The larger circles in the Orkneys are four in number; three 
of these stand on a long slip of land that divides the loch of 
Harra from that of Stennis. The fourth is at some little distance 
from the others, and separated from them by a narrow strait 
connecting the two lochs. Besides these there are several smaller 
earthen circles and numerous tumuli. The largest circle, known as 
the Ring of Brogar,' is 340 feet (100 metres) in diameter between 
the stones. These originally wero sixty in number, ranging from 
6 and 7 to 15 feet in height; outside the stomas runs a ditch aliout 
30 feet in width, and (5 in dejith, but with no perceptible rampart 
on either side. Two causeways cross the ditch as at Peurilh or 
Arbor Low (woodcuts No. 29 and 30) opposite to one another, but 
neither square with the axis of the spit of land on wliich the circle 
is situated, nor facing any of tlie four cardinal points of the 

Next in importance to this is the circle at Stennis, about three- 
quarters of a mile distant. It consisted originally of twelve stones 
15 to 18 feet in height. Only two are now erect, but a third was 
80 not many years ago ; and the fourth, of which now only a frag- 
ment remains, is represented as standing when tlie drawing, which 
forms the frontispiece to this work, was maile.^ The remains of a 
dolmen still exist witliiti the circle, not however in the centre, but 
close to its side, one of the stones of the circle apparently acting as 
bead-stone to it. Beyond the stone circle which measures 104 feet 

' The Bcootmt of tbe«c moniuneuts ia 
Hbatmctctl from ii pnpcr by Lieutenant 
TUomag, of II. M.'h uurrcying vposel 
Wmtdlnrli. It is tlie inoDt <li^tail<>t] and 
mo«t correct survey we Imvo of any 
British group. It vrns in thu 
' .\rch(colo)ni>,' xjxiv. p. S8 et setjq. 

' Four stuiies iini rupreseut**! an «tuud- 
ing when Barry's view of tl\c moniiinent 
wna piiMiByied in 1807, find fnnr are 
rcprcneittc'd Bii slMudiiig in u Berica of 

etohin^g ninde by the DncUesg-Counteija 
of Siithcrlnnd from hor own drswings, in 
180r>. If the elbow in tbo bridge ithown 
in tlie drawing in the froutispieee is not 
a licence permitted lo hiiUHelf hy the 
nKist, my dr<iwin>? in earlier ihnn either 
of these. Whnii 1 Hrst purcliase'l it I 
beiieveil it lo be by Duniel. His tour, 
however, tufilc plaoc in ISIS. From Ihu 
internal evidence this drawing niuit Ira 
anterior to 1805, 







■ AdMi SO feet vide, nakiBg tbe vkofe 
t to the ostmd edge of the i 

240 feet. Not feo^ 
horn this ctnde^ aad 
dan to die bridge of 

nooolith IS feet in 
he^ty vhidi is the 
ieert and hijgfaest 
Btone of the groap; 
and in another diieo- 
tion a leeaer one, 
with a liole Utpoogk 
it. Thoogfa onlj 8 
feet high, 3 feet 
broad, and 9 inches 
thick, this stone has 
become more famous 
than the others, from 
the Qw Sir Walter Scott makes of it in the 'Pirate,' and 
becanae, till a rcry^ recent period, an oath taken with hands 
joined through the hole in the Stone of Woden, was considered 
nven by tlic courts in Orkney as more than usually solemn und 

No excavations, so far as I know, hare been attempted in the 
circlo of Sti-nniH, but its ruined dobnen is probably surticient to 
tttt«.-»t it8 sepulcbml character. Some attempts at exploration were 
ma<ie in the larger King at Brogar, but without success. This is 
liiinlly to be wondered at, for a mau must feeJ very sure where to 
liMjk, who I'Xpects to find a small deposit in fin area of two acres. 
'VUf. diggings are uudorstoorl to have been made in the centre. 
There, howevef, the ground looks very like the undisturbed surfac-e 
of the original moor, and as if it had never been lerelled or used 
cither for iiitfrmcnt or any other human purpose, and slopes 
iiwiiy irrcgiilnrly somo 6 feet towards the loch. My impression is 
that the deposits, if any exists will be found near the outer circum- 

M. OnU U Staania. Pram UcBtenwil Tlwaait flma. 

' 'Arrhwnlojfiii,' xxxiv. p. 89. 

Chap. VI. 



I'erence of the circle, either at the foot of the atones as at Crichie, 
or outside the ditch as at Hal^ieu or Stonehenge. In the 
Hinaller circles the diameter of which does not exceed 100 feet, 
the deposit seems eitlter to have been in the centre; or, if at the 
sides, the stones were bo arranged as to mark its place. In the 
larger, or 100-mctre circies, we have not yet ascertained where to 
look. Accident may some day reveal the proper spot, biit till it 
is ascertained either scientifically or fortuitously, no argument can- 
be based on the negative evidence which our ignorance uflbrda. 

In the neighbourhood of these stone circles are several bowl- 
shaped barrows similar to those in the neighbourhood of Stone- 
henge, not only ext<.*rnally but internally. When opened they 
were almost all found to contain iutoriucnts by cremation and 
rude half-burnt pottery. It is not here, however, that these barrows 
are found in the greatest numbers. In the neighlwuring parish of 
Saudwick tlioy exist in iiutuireds, ami si'uttered exactly as on the 
Wiltshire downs, here and there, singly or in pairs, without any 
apparent arrangement or grouping. It is said that there are at 
least 2000 of these mole-hill barrows in tiio islands.' Here, as 
there, it would seem, that where a man lived and died there he 
was buried, without any reference to anything existing, or that 
had existed. None of these barrows have stone circles of any 
sort attached to them. Indeed, the only rude stone monuments 
Id Orkney of the class we are discussing are those just described, 
and they are all confined to one remote inliosjiitable-looking 
spot. Close to these, however, Lieutenant Thomas enumerates 
six or seven conoid barrows, whose form and contents are of a 
very different nature. The bodies in them had been buried entire 
without cremation, and with their remains were found silver 
torques and other orntimeuts, similar as far as can be made out — 
none are engraved — to tliose found in iSkail Bay, along with coins 
of Athelstane, 925, and of the Caliphs of Bagdad, of dates from 
887 to 945.''' That these conoid graves here, as well as others 
found in the islands, are of Scandinavian origin, can hardly be 
doubted, and tlieir jnxtii-position. to the circles is at least siig- 

' ' ArrlueolD^iu,' xxxiv. p. 00. 
* The grmtcr port nf this find, with 
nil lliu roiiu), is iu Uic Mudciiiu oI' lli<' 

Society of Autifinariw, Edinburgh. Tlie 
dat(.-8 on tlio ctjiim wore kindly copied for 
mt< by Mr. Blimrt. 

li 2 



Chap. VI. 

gestive. If tlie circles were monuments of the Celts, whom 
they despised, and in fact had eveu theu exterminated, they would 
hardly choose a burying-place so close to them. 

The most important, however, of all the tumuli, not only in this 
neighbourhood, but in the islands, is known as the Mties-Howe. 
It was opened in 1861, in the presence of a select party of 
•antiquaries from Edinburgh, who had hoped from its external 
api>earance to iiiid it intstot: in this, however, they were dis- 
appointed. It would seem that men of the same race as those 
who erected it, but who in (he meanwhile had been converted 
to Christianity, hud apparently in the middle of the twelfth 
century broken into this sepulchre of their Pagan forefathers, 
and despoiled it of its contents. As some compensation for 
this, they have written their names in very lejrible Runes on 
the walls of the tomb, and recorded, in short sentences, what 
they knew and believed of its origin.' 

From these Runes we learn, in the first place, that the robbers 
were Christian pilgrims on their way to the Hnly Laud — lorsala 
Farer — from which Professor Munch infers that they must have 
formed part of the expedition organized for that purpose by Jarl 
Bognvald, ll.")2. Beyond this it is not possible to lay much stress 
on what these Runes tell us. In the first place, because the 
learned men to whom they have been submitted diRer contiider- 
ably in their interpretation,* and the record, even in the best of 
them, is indi.stiuct. Jn one or two resp<?cts the evidence of the 
inscriptions may ha cuusidered sutisfuctory. Their writers all seem 
to have known so perfectly what the tomb was, and to whom it 
belonged, that no one can^d to record, except in the most poetic 
fashion, what every one on the spot probubly knew perfectly well. 
At all events, there is no allusion in these inscriptions to any other 
or earlier race. Every expression, whether intelligible or not, bears 
a northern slump. Lothbrok, Ingeborg, and all tin- other names 
introdneeil are Seandiuavian, and all the allnsionshave a Northern 
twang. Thuugh tliis is merely negative evidence, it certainly goes 

' 'Notice on th>! Runic Inaoriptions discovered durinn; Recent Kxcavatioiis iD tlio 
Orknuys.' By Jsinea Farirr, M.P. 186-2, ' • Proc. Sop. Ant. .Scot.' v. p. 70. 



rimgon in Mact-Howr. 

8ome way to show that the robbers were aware that tlie Howe 
was originally erected by people of their own race. If, however, 
the direct evidence of these in- 
scriptions is inroncliisive, there is 
one engraving on a pilhir facing 
the entrance which looks as if 
it were original, both from its 
position and character. It re- 
presents u dmgon (woodcut No. 
85) of a peculiar Scandinavian 
type. A similar one is found on 
a stone attached to the tumulus 
under which King Gorra was 
buried, at Jelliiigo, in Den- 
mark, in the middle of the tenth 
century. Making allowance for 
the difference in drawing, they are so like that they cannot 
be very distinct in date. A thinJ animal of this species is found 
at Hunestadt, in Scania,' and dating about the year 1150, but 
very different, and very mucli more 
modern-looking than tins one. Had 

the Jerusalem pilgrims drawn this ^/T ^'^-^>^y 

dragon, it would probably have been 
mach more like the Hunostadt ex- 
ample. On the other hand, if the one 
at 3Iaes-Howe is original, tlie ago of 
the tomb can hardly be half a cen- 
tury distant from that of King Gorm's 
JSowe, which in other respects it very 
much resembles. It is, however, very 
unlikely that Christian pilgrims would 
draw a dragon like this, and still less 
that they would accompany it with a 
Wurm, or Serpent-knot, like tliat found on the same pillar; both 
look like Pagan emblems, and seem to belong to the original 
decorations of the tomb. 

^fi. Wiirm-Kijoi, Marii*nowc. 

' OiftitB Wormiiw, 'Mnntimpnta Danipn.' p. 188, llg. 0. 


ORAr. VT. 

Among the inscriptions ia Mae»-Howe is one whicl>. from it« 
apparent insignilicance, none of the intei'prett'rs have condescended 
to notice. It will be observed on one of the loose stones lying 
in the foreground on woodcut No. 88, it consisfs of only fonr letters, 
and reads either HIAI or IKIH, according as it is tnmed one 
way or another. As it is impassible to make a recognisable word, 
much less sense out of such a combiiiation, it is no wonder it was 
thrown aside ; but it is just because it is unintelligible that it 
may turn out to be valuable as an index to the age of the monu- 
ment. Nothing is more unlikely than that a lorsala Farcr would 

^ ' 





(Ian mA Hwtii-ii ul 

have idly engraved these Runes on u loaso stone, but nothing more 
likely than that a niasuu wIjo hewe<l the stone and fitted it to 
close the "loeulus" exactly, would have put a mark upon it 
to show that it belonged to the right-hand chamlier in which 
A or B was to bn buried. The iuseriptioa is on the inner edge 
of the stone, where it would be hid when the stone was in «itu, 
and most probably was engraved on the atone before it was 
originally used lo close the ojwuing. 

This, at least, is an explanation of its meaning better than nnv 
other which has yet been suggested, and if it is the correct one. 

Chap, VI. 




this inscription with the Dragon and the ^^'u^nl-knot are fimong 
the origiual sculptures of the tomb; and, if so, it will be difficitlt 
to assign it to au earlier age than the tenth century, which, from 
the circnmstances to be mentioned hereafter, seems on the whole 
the most probable date. 

The architecture of the tumulus, though offering some indica- 
tions of great value, hnrdly possesses any features sufficiently 
marked to fix its date with certiiinty. ExteniuUy it is a trun- 
cated cone (woodcut No. S7), about 92 feet lu diHmeter, by 30 feet 

in height, and is 

surrounded at a " 

distance of abont 
90 feet by a ditch 
40 feet wide, and 
fi feet deep, out 
ofwhich the earth 
seems to have 
beentaken which 
was required to 
form tlie mound. 
Internally it con- 
tains a chamber 
slightly cru- 
riforra in plan, 
measuring 15 feet 
4 inches, by 14 
feet 10 inches, 
and, when com- 
plete, probably 
17 feet in height. 

On each of three sides of the chamber is a sepulchral loculus, 
entered by a small opening 3 feet fi"om the ground. The 
largest of those, that on the right as you enter, is 7 feet by 4 feet 
6 inches, and the central one 5 feet 6 inches by 4 feet 6 inches. 
Each of these was closed by a single stone carefully squared, 
so as to fit the opening. The passage leading into the central 
chamber was W feet wide by 4 feet 6 inches in height, and 
(iiiginaliy closed, apparently by a dix)rway at 2 feet 6 inches from 


\'lcw of Dwmlicr in Mae.-Uuwe. I' run ■ drawing by .Mr. Furror. 


Oaf. Vr. 

the chamber. Beyond this it ia lined by two slabs 18 feet long, 
reaching nearly to a recess, which seems arranged as if to receive 
the real door which closed the sepulchre, probably a large stone. 
Beyond this the passage still extends some 20 feet to the present! 
entrance, but is of very inferior class of masonry, and how much of 
it is modem is not clear. 

The first thing tliat strikes any one on examining this mound 
is that it certainly is the lineal descendant, of the great cairns on 
the banks of the Boyne, but separated from them by a very long 
intervid of time. It is not easy to determine what interval must 
have elapsed before the side chambers of those tombs merged into 
the "locoli" of this, or how long it must have been before their 
rude unhewn masses were refined into the perfectly well-fitted 
masonry of this one. Some allowance must, however, be made 
for the difference of material. The old red sandstone of the 
Orkneys splitting easily into self-faced slabs, offers wonderful 
facilities for its use, but still the way in which the angle- 
buttresses of the chamber were fitted, and the cells finished, and 
the great slabs line the entrance, all show a progress in masonic 
science that must have required centuries, assuming, of cour 
that they were built by the same i>eopIo. But was this so? So 
far as we at present know, these islands, when conquered by 
Harold Ilarfagar in 875, were inhabited by two races called Papo 
and Peti, The former were generally assumei to have been 
colonies of Irish missionaries and their followers, who settled 
here after the conversion of the Picts by St. Ctdumba in the 
middle of the sixth century. The Peti, it ia also generally 
assumed, were the Peehts, or Picta.^ It will not he easy to 
ascertain now whether they were so or not, as, according to Bishop 
Tulloch, they were so entirely exterminated by the Northmen, 
that of their " jiostoritie there remained nooht." But if the Pape, 
or Papas were Irish missionaries, they were Christians, and what- 
ever else Maes-Howe may be, it certainly is not a place of Christian 
burial. Nor is it Pictish. If it were, we certainly should find 
something like it in Pictland proper; but nothing that can be 
at all compared with it is found in Fife or Forfar, or in any of 

■ Barry'ii ' Hutoiy of Orkney,' p. 399. See ft]ao ' ArchnBologia,* xxxiv. p. 89, 

Chap. Vf. 



those countrica which were occupied by tlie Picts in the days 
of their greatness ; and it is most improbable that a people who 
could not, or at least did nut, erect any such sepuleliro in the 
fertile and populous lands which they occupied on the mainland, 
would erect such a one as this on a comparatively barren and 
sparsely inhabited island. On the other hand, there seems every 
reason for believing that the 2000 little barrows above alluded to 
are the graves of the Picts, or original inhabitants of the island 
before they were exterminated by the Northmen. These barrows, 
however, have absolutely no affinity with Maes-Howe. None of 
them have chambers, none have circles of stone round them ; all 
are curvilinear, and none, indeed, show anything to induce the 
belief that in any length of time they would be developed into 
Buch a sepulchre as that which we have been describing. It is in 
fact the stoiy of Stonehonge and its barrows over again. A race of 
Giants superseding a nation of Pigmies with which they certainly 
had no blood affinities, and erecting among their puny sepulchres 
monuments dedicated, it may bo, to similar purposes, but as little 
like them in reality as the great cathedrals of the middle ages 
are to the timber churches of the early Saxons. 

Only one hypothesis seems to remain, which is that it is a tomb 
of the northern men who conquered these islands in the ninth 
century. This may seem a very prostiic descent from the primaeval 
antiquity some are inclined to ascribe to these monuments, but it 
certainly is not improbable ; in the first place, because we have 
what seems undoubted testimony that Thorliu, one of tlie Jarls 
(940 to 970 A.o.) " was buried on Konaldshay under a tumulus, 
which was then known by the name of Haugagerdium, and is 
perhaps the same as that we now call the Ilow of Hoogsay," or 
Hoxay.^ I have not been able to ascertain whether this is literally 
true or not, but have reason to believe that it was not in the 
How of Hoxay that Thorfin was buried, but in a mound close 
by." The fact of his being buried in a Howe is, however, all that 

' BftjTy, • History of the Orknoys,' 
p. 124. 

' Mr. George Petrie has recently nt 
my request made some excnrntions in 
thsM BMHindB, bat the regnlta have not 

t>een concloaire. He ie of opinion that 
one of the moumla he explored mny bo 
the grave uf Tborlin, but it ia too much 
ruined to nflbnl any certain indication. 




is at present demnndcHL Another important barrow is mentioned 
by Professor Munch/ known an Halfdan's Barrow, in 8andy, and 
raised by Tod Einiir (i)2'> to 93G). So that we know of at least 
two irajKjrtaiJt iKirrows belonging to the Norwegian Jarls iu the 
tenth century, thon{;li only one has been identitied with absolute 
certainty. As before mentioned, it is quite certiiin that King Gorm 
(died !>')()) and Thyra of Denmark were buried in tunmli in outward 
appearance very similar to Maes-llowe. That i>f Queen Thyra hns 
alone been opened. It is a chamber tomb, similar to Maes-Howe, 
except in this, that the chamber iu Denmark is formed with logs 
of wood, in thts Orkneys witli slabs of stone, but the difference is 
easily accounted for. At Jellinge stone is rare, and tlie country 
was covered with forests. At Stennis self-faced slabs of ston^; 
were to be had for the lifting, and trees were unknown. The 
consequence was, that workmen einplayed tlie best material avail- 
able to carry out their purpose. Be that as it miiy, the fact that 
kings of Denmark and J aria of Orkney were buried iu Howes in 
the tentlj century, takes away all n priori improbability from the 
hypothesis that Maes-Howe may be a sepulchre of one of those 

If this is so, our choice of an occupant lies within very narrow 
limits. We cannot well go back beyond the time of Harold 
llarfagar (87 (> to SJ2U), who first really took possession of these 
islands, as a dependency of Norway, and created Sigurd the elder 
first Jarl of Orkney in 920. Nor can we descend below the age of 
the second Sigurd, who became Earl in 99G, as we know he was 
Converted by Olaus to Christianity, and was killed at Clontarf iu 
1014.^ Within these seventy-six years that elapsed between 920 
and 99G thei'e is only one name that seems to meet all the exi- 
gencies of tiio case, ami in a manner that can hardly be accidental. 
Havard "the happy," one of the sunn of Thortiu, who was buried 
at Hoxay, was slain at Stennis in 970. Havard Jiad married Ragn- 
hilda, the daughter of Eric lilodoxe, prince of Norway, aud widow 
of liis brother Arlin, but she, tired of her second husband, stirred 
up on© of his nephews against him, and a battle was fought at 

' "• MduoircK deu Ant. du NoH,' iti. p. 23G. 

* These d»ten are taken froiu Darry, \>. 1 12 e< t«qq., but they aeeni UDJi8|tutcd, und 
ore found in all hutorivn. 

Chap. VI. 



Stennis, on a spot, .snys Jiarry, "wliicb afterwards bore the name 
of Hftvardztngar, from the event or the slaughter."' The sairio 
story is repeated by Professor Wilson oa follows, " Olaf Tryguesson, 
savs Ilrtvan!, was llien at Steinsnes in Kossey. There was meeting 
and battle about HavarJ, and it was not long bt^fore the Jarl 
fell. The pbvee is now called Havardsteiger. So it was called, 
and so M. Petrie writes me, it is still railed by the peasantry to 
the present day."' Professor Miuicli, of Ciiristiania, who visited 
the plaee in 1849, arrived at the contdusion "that most of the 
grave mounds grouped around the Brogar circle are, prfibably, 
tnemorials of this battle, and perhaps one oi the larger that of 
Havard EarL"* In tliis I have no doubt he is right, but that 
larger one I ti\ke to be Maes-Howe, which is in sight of the circle, 
though not so close to it as those he was speaking of. 

One circumstance which at first sight renders this view of the 
case more than probable isi, that Maes-Uowe is, so far as we at 
present know, unique. Thorfin's grave, when found, may be a 
chambered tumulus, so may Halfilau's Barrow, when opened, but no 
others are known in Orkney. If it had been the tomb of a king or 
chief of any native dynasty, pimilar ae[)ulchrc8 must have been as 
numerous as they were on the banks of the Boyne or Blackwater. 
There must have been a succession of them, some of greater, some 
of less niafmifipence. Nothing of the sort. Iinwevcr, iiccurs, and till 
more are found, the Btennis group cannot Ije ascribed to a dynasty 
that lasted loixger than the seventy-six years just quoted. That 
brief dynasty must alw have been the most splendid and the most 
powerful of all that reigned in these islands, as no tomb there 
approaches Maes-Ifowe in raagnificenc-o. If such a description 
suits any other race than that of the Norwegian Jarls, I do not 
know where to look for an account of it. 

Assuming ftir the present that this is so, we natimilly turn to 
the Kunic inscriptions on the walls of the tomb to see how far ttey 
confirm or refute this view. Unfortunately there is notliing in 
them very distinct either one way or the other. The only recog- 
nizable names ore tliosp of Lothbrok and Ingifxjrg. The former, 

' ■ Iliiitory of f Jrkncy.' p. 12.'), 

' ' t're-Hintori"' Annals of ScotlAiid.' \<. 112. ' Arclmsnlngitt,' xxxir. p. 69. 

' ' Jl^raoireg i\vn AntiquatrpK du Horti,' iii. p. 2;V). 




if the Lotlibrok of Northmnbrian notoriety, is too early; the Ingi- 
borg, if the wife of Sigurd the Second, is too late, though, &a the 
first Christian countess of Orkney, her unine may have got mixed 
up in some way witfi the tomb of the Itxst I'agun Jarl. But should 
we expect to find any sober record of the date and purposes of 
the Howe in any of the, scribblings on tlie walls? The English 
barbarians who write their names and rhymes on the walls of the 
tombs around Delhi and Agra do not say this is the tomb of 
Humayoon, or Akbar, or of Etimad Doulah, or Seyed Ahmed. 
They write some doggerel about Timour the Tartar, or the Great 
Mogul, or some wrelclied jokes about their own people. The 
same feeling sef^ms to have guided the Christian Northmen in 
their treatment of the tomb of their Pagan predecessor, and 
though, consequently, we find in>thing that can fairly be quoted 
as confirming the view that it is the tomb of Ilavard, there is 
nothing that can be assumed as contradicting it. 

One inscription may, however, be considered as throwing some 
light on the subject. In XIX. XX. it is related, though in words 
BO dift'erently translated by the various experts to whom it was 
submitted, that it is difficult to quote them, that '*much fee was 
found in the Orkhow, and that this treasure was buried to the 
north west," adding, "happy is he who may discover tliis great 
wealth."' A few years ago a great treasure was found to the 
north-west of Maes-Howe, in Skai! Bay, just in such a position as a 
pirate on his way to the Holy Laud would hide it, in the hope, on 
his return, to dig it up and take it home ; but Bhii)wreck or fever 
may have prevented his doing this. \\'ith this treasure were 
found, as mentioned above, coins of Athelstane of the date of 925, 
and of the Caliphs of Bagdad, extending to i)45, just such dates as 
we should exjtcct in a tomb of £)70, recent, but not the most recent 
coins. Connecting these with the silver torques found in the conoid 
barrows around the King of Brogar, we seem to have exactly such 
a group of monuments as the histories above quoted would lead 
us to expect, and which with their contents Ijclong almost ce]> 
tainly to the age above as-signed to them. 

Had Maes-Howe been an old sepulchre of an earlier race, when 

' Farrer, ' InKriptiunB in the OrkarvB,' p. 37. 




the Nortbmen ravagetl the western ishinds in the enrly part of tho 
ninth century, it is mt>8t improbable that they would have 
neglected to break into the "Orkhow." The treasures which 
AmlafFantt his Duues found in the moimtls on the banks of the 
Boyne would certainly have stimulated these explorers to see what 
was contained in the Orcadian tuniuliis. Had they done this, the 
Jerugalem pilgrims would not, three centuries later, have been able 
to record that "much fee" was found in the tomb, and was bnried 
to the north-west, apparently in Skail Bay, The whole evidence of 
the inscriptions, in so far as it goes, tends to prove that the tomb 
was intact when broken into in the twelfth century. If this is so, 
nothing is so unlikely as that it cowld have romaiucd uuritled if 
existing before the year 801, as a Celtic sepiilclire. On the other 
hand, nothing seems more probable than that Christian Northmen 
would have pluiulored the grave of one of their Pagan ancestors, 
whom they knew had been buried " with much fee" in this tumulus 
two centuries before tl>eir time. Two hundred years, it must be 
recollected, is a Tery long time among an illiterate people. A long 
time, indeed, among ourselves, with all our literary aids; and when 
we add to this the change of religion that had taken place among 
the Northmen in the interval, \vq need not be surprised at any 
araoimt of ignorance of history or contempt for the customs of their 
Pagan forefathers on the part of the Jerusalem pilgrims. The 
time, at all events, was sufficiently long fully 1o justify Christian 
robbers in helping themselves to the ti'casurea of their Pagan 

Even assuming, however, that Maes-Howe is the tomb of Havard, 
or of some other of the Pagan Norwegian Jarls of Orkney, the 
question still remains whether it has any, and. if any, what con- 
nesion with the two circles in the immediate neighbourhood?' 

' A few yi'Ars ngn such u questiua 
would have Vicfn PoiiHidcpod anawereil 
IM MKin lis AtAtocl : but, as Dimicl WiIhoii 
writes in a de!t[«iiring podHugc in his In- 
tTpdoction,* "TIi'b theory of the Duitirh 
origin of ncnrly nil our native artK, 
though nrtnpied without invefiUgnttnn, 
uid fostered in defiance of evidence, has 

long ceased to be a mere popuLir error. 
It is, moredvrr," he ndd^, " a cuinulativu 
error ; Pennant, ChiiiuberB, Barry, Mm? 
Cullnrh, Scotl, Hihbprt, and a host uf 
othiT writerti mi^ht l«' ijuytwl to show 
that theory, like u eiiow-WII, ^tht:r!i ns 
it rolls, taking up iniliaoriininiitoly wlint- 
cvcr clinnves to be in its erratic coun>e." 

' Pre-HMurie Aanilt ol Scotland,' \>. xv. 



Crjli: VI. 

Locally, the Howe and the circles certainly form one group. 
No 8uch tumuli, and no such circles exist ia other parts of 
the islands, and the spot ia so inhospitable, ro far from any 
of the centrca of population in the island, that it ia diflicult 
to conceive why it should have heen choson, uulcsa from the 
accident of being the scene of some important events. If 
Havard was slain here, which there seems no reason for doubting, 
nothing seems more probable than that one of his surviving 
brothers, Liolr or Landver, should have erected a tumulus over 
his grave, meaning it also to be a sepulchre for themselves. 
On the other baud, it is extremely unlikely that the six or 
seven other tumuli which are admitted to be of Scandinavian 
origin should have gathered round the Ring of Brogar if it had 
been a Pagan fiine of the despised Celts, who preceded them in 
the possession of the island. It cannot be necessary here to go 
over the questions again, m Iiether a few widely spaced stones stuck 
up around a circle one hundred metres in diameter was or was not 
11 temple. It is just such a monument as lOOU victorious soldiers 
could set up in a week. It is such as the inhabitants of the district 
could nut set u|) in years, and would not attempt, because, when 
done, it would have been absolutely useless to them for any purpose 
either civil or religious; and if it is not, as before said, a ring in 
which those who fell in battle wer« buried, 1 know not what it is. 
The cliiefs, in this case, would be buried iu the conoid barrows 
close around, the Jarl in the neighbouring howe. 

As Stenuis ia mentiimed in the Sagas that give an account of 
liavard's death, it probably existed there, and was called by the 
simple Scandinavian name which the Northmen gave to all this 
class of stone monuments. None, so far as I know, have retained 
H Celtic denomination. Assuming it to be earlier, it still can 
hardly be carried back bey<md the year 800. The earliest date of 

In Bpite of Ilia imligiintiiii), lionover, 1 
8ii«pi-ot it will lie found ii) have gatlieri<l 
suoh force, tiint it will bo fouud vury 
difliciilt tu diiicrL'dit it. Siucc, too, Alez- 
nmlcr Uortrand made Liii oiiaIaui,'Lt oa 
tlu' llit'OiT', lliat tlip O'lts Lad anjrlhing 
Ui ill! with lh(.: iiiejjrilitliio nKUiiituents, 
the gruund ia fasi being cut nwny from 

undtT their fix't ; und though the proofs 
are still fur from complete, yet Dcc'<irdiiig 
to prceent uiUHiiriinotaj the Celts must 
resign thoir olaiiua to any of the etooe 
circlog ccrtjuiily, and to moat of the othiar 
stone moDuiuenls wenrcooqiiaiiiti'il witli. 
if not (o all. 

chai'. vr. 



the appearance of tbe Nurlliinuii in luoiloru times is iu tlie year 
793 in the 'I risk Annals/ where raeution is made of a "vastatio 
omnium insularum a Gentibus.' In 802, and again in 818, they 
harried lona,'' and from that time forward seem constantly t/o 
have conductoil piruticul ex|i(iditi<iDS along these coasts, until 
they ended by formally occupying the Orkneys under Harold 
llarfagar. Though smaller in diameter, Stennis has a grander 
and a more ancient look than Brogar, and may even be a century 
or two older, and be a monument of some chief who fell here in 
some earlier tight. That it is sepulchral can hardly be a matter 
of doubt from the dolmen inside its ring. 

Connected with the circle at .StetJiiis in the holed stono^ alluded 
to above, which seems to be a most distinct and jwsitive testimony 
to the nationality of this group of monuments. 

It is quite rertaiii tliat the oath to Woden or Odin was sworn by 
persons joining their hands through the hole in this ring stone, and 
that an oath so taken, although by Christians, was deemed solemn 
and binding. This ceremony was held so very sacred in those 
times, that the person who dared to break the engagement made 
there was aceouuted infumuus uud excluded from society.* 
PrincijMil Gordon, in his 'Journey to the Orkney Islands' in 
1781, relates the following anecdote : — " The young man was 
called before the session, tuid the elders were particularly severe. 
Being asked by the minister the cause of so much severity, they 
answered, ' You do not know what a bad man this is ; he has 
broken the promise of Odiu,' and further explained that the con- 
tracting parties had joined hiuids through the hole in the stone."' 

Such a detlication of a stone to Woden seems impossible after 
their conversion «jf the Northmen to t-hristianity about the year 
1000, and most improbable if the monument was of Celtic origin, 
and existed before the conquest of the country 123 years earlier. 
If the Northmen had not hated and despised their predecessors 
they would never have exterminated them ; but while engaged 
in this work is it likely they would have adopted one of their 

' * AnnaJiig IimiRl'al.' iu O'Connur. | 
' Itrnint. Ilib. Scrip.' ii. p- 24. ' An- 
tioltd Ulton.' Iluil. iv. p. 117, 

' Dako of Arjiyllis • Imm.' p. llW. 

• On the left of the ricw iu the 

• ' Ari'liii?olo)j;ia ISeol.' iii. p. 1 U». 

• • ArcUiL-olo^in,' xxxiv. p. 1 13. 



Chap. VJ, 

monuments as especially sacred, and fullowed up one of tlieir 

custoras, supposing this to have been one, though there is abso- 
lutely no proof in a holed stone being used in any Celtic cemetery 
for any such imipose? The only sulnticin seems to be that tlie 
monument, ivith this acetjrapaniment, was erected between the 
conquest of the country and the conversion of the conquerors, and, 
like many ancient rites, remained unrliarged through ages, not as 
adopted from the conquered races, but because tlieir forefathers 
liad practised it from time immemorial in their irative land. On 
any other Iiyjtothesis it seems impossible that so purely Pagan a 
rite could liave survived through eight centuries of Christianity, 
and still be considered sacred by those whose ancestors had wor- 
shipped Wodin ill the old times many centuries before these stones 
were erected in the iahinds. 

All this seems so clear and consistent, that it may be assumed 
that this group of mouuments were erected between the year 8uO 
and lOOD a.d., till, at least, some argument is brought forward 
leading to a certain conclusion. At present I know of otdy one 
which tends to make me pause; it is a curious one, and arises 
from the wonderful similarity tliat exists between this and some 
of the greater English groups. Take, for instance, Stanton 
Drew (ante, p. Hf)). It C(Misist8 of a great circle 340 feet in 
diameter, the same as the Ring of lirogur, and of a smaller circle 
within three feet of the dimensions of that of Stcnnis (101 against 
104), both the latter j>n«sess a dolmen, not in the centre, but on its 
edge, the only essential difference being tlint the great ring at 
Stanton had twenty -lour stones, and the fuuillor one eight, as 
against sixty ami twelve in the northern example ; this, liowever, 
Tuay arise from the one being in a locality so much more stony 
than the oth«r, and it must be confessed the Stanton stones look 
older, but tliis also may arise from the difiereut nature of the 
rocks from which they were taken. 

TLe King of Botdian answers to the circle in the orchard; the 
Watch or King iStoue at !Steiiiii.s to lluutville's Quoit, Even the 
names are the same, "ton" and " ncss" being merely descriptive 
of the townland, and the long slip of land on ^^lliell they are 
resjHHtively siiuated, and Maes-Knoll looks down un the one, and 
Macs-Howe into the other. The only thing wanted is a ring stone in 


CflAP, vr. 



the Somersetshire example, but that mij^ht easily have disappeared, 
and there is one at Avebury. Some of these coincidences may, of 
couree, be accidental, but they are too numerous and too exact to 
1)0 wholly 60. If at all admitted, they seem to force us to one of 
two conclusions: either the time wliieh elapsed Iwtween the ages 
of the two monuments is less than tlie previous reasoning would 
lead us to suppose, or the persistence in those forms, when once 
adopted, was greater than, on other groundH, it seems reasonable 
to expect. Three or four centuries seem a long time to have 
elaj)sed between buildings, the style of which is so nearly identical. 
If, however, their dates are to be brought nearer to one unotlier, it 
seems much more reasonable to bring 8fanton Drew down, than 
to carrj' Stennis back. It is much more consistent with what we 
know, to believe that Stanton Drew was erected by Hubba and 
his Danes, than that the Orkney circles and Maes-Howe could have 
been the work of tlio wretched Pape and Pcti, who itilnibited the 
island before the invasion of the North men. 

As this is the last of the great groups containing firot-class 
circles, which we shall have to deal with in the following pages, it 
may be well to try and sum up, in as few words as possible, the 
points of the evidence from which we arrive at the conclusion that 
it may be of the date above assigned to it : — 

1. History is absolutely silent either for or again-st this theory. 
In 80 far as the litera scripla is concerned, it may either have been 
erected by the Phoenicians or in the time of the Stuarts. 

2. The Danish theory is of no avail. No flint, bone, or bronze 
or iron implcmtrnta have been found in a position to throw any 
light on its age. 

3. There are in the islands some thousands of small rauIe-hiU 
barrows — insignificant, stonelosa, unadoriieil. 

4. All parts of the Stenuis group show design and power, and 
pnxluce an effect of magniticence. 

5. It seems evident that the circles and the barrows belong to 
two different peoples. 

0. If so, the barrows belong to the Pcti and Pape ; tho largo 
howes and the stone monuments to the Northmen. 

7. If this is so, the latter belong lo the two centuries comprised 
between 800 and 1000 a.t». 



Chap. VT. 

8. Maes-Howe, being unique, must have belonged to the shortest, 
but most magnificent dynasty in the Island. 

9. With refjarrl to Havani. He was killed on, or close to the 
spot where Maos-IIowe now stands. 

10. His father, Thorfin, was buried in a howe in Ronaldshay. 
His contemporary, Gorm, was buried in a howe at Jellinge. 

11. A dragon and serpent were carved in Gorni's tomb. Similar 
representations were found in Maes-Howe. 

12. The four lituu'c letters on the closing stone of the right- 
hand loculus, date probobly from its first erection. 

13. All the subsequent inscriptions on the tomb acknowledge 
it as a Scandinavian monument, 

14. The mention of treasure being found in it in 1152 goes far 
to show that it did not exiist in SfU, or it would then have been 
rubbed by the Xortlinien, as tlie Irish tombs were. 

15. It 18 extremely probable that the Skail Bay "find" is part 
of this trea.sure, which is not earlier than 945, and may be twenty 
or fort}' yeai-8 later. 

K), The torques found in the six large tumuli ut lirogar belong 
to the same age, 

17. The Holed Stone at Stennis was certainly set up by North- 
men and by them dedicated to Woden, and it certainly forms part 
of the group. 

18. The name Havard's Steigr, attaching to the place at the 
present day, is imiwrtant. 

Against this, J know uf only one argument : Otnne igtiolum pro 
atUiquo ; which, for reasons, given above, I reject. 

If such a case were submitted to anyone, regariling a monument 
of which wo had never heard before, no one would prol«ibly hesitate 
in considering the case as proved, till, at least, something more to 
the |x>iDt could be brought forward on the other side. Such, how- 
ever, is the effect of tKlucatioii, and so strong the impression on the 
minds of most Englishmen with regard to Phoenicians and Druids, 
that nine people out often vull probably reject it; some alleging 
that it must be an unfair, others that it is an inconclusive statement. 
Let ihem try and state their view in as few words, and I do not 
believe it will be difficult to judge between the two cases. 

L'liAP. VI, 




The next in importance after those of Steniiis unjong the 
Scottish group of circles is that at Callerniah, in the Isle of Lewis. 
They are situaterl at the inner end of I^>ch Roag, on the western 
coast of the ishmd, and consequently more remote fr(nn the routes 
of traffic or the centres of Pictish or Celtic civiliratinn tlisin even 
the Orcadian groups. The country, too, in their neighbourhood is 
of the wildest luid most barren desr-ription, and never cnuld have 
been more densely iuliahtted than now, which is by a sparse fiopu- 
latiun totally unequal to such monuments as these. 

The group consists uf three or four circles, situated near to 
one another, at the head of the bay. They are of tlie ordinary 
form, <30 to lUU feet in diameter, and consequently not remarkable 
for their dimensions, nor are they for the size of the stones 
of which they are eomposeil. One of them, which had been 
covered up with pent-moss, was excavated some years ago, and 
B number of holes were found, tilled, it is said, with charcoal 
of wood;^ but the account is by no means satisfactory. About 
a mile to the westward of the tliree, on the northern shore of 
T.och lloag, stands the principal niomiment. This consists of a 

* .^ 

kluniimcnt al CalLemliJi. Krum t ]ilMti b; Sir Unity Jiuiic«. 

"•ircle ^42 feet ia diameter. In tl»e centre of this is a tall stone, about 
17 feet high, which forms the headstone of a grave of a somewhat 

> ' IVvw'Jinsx Soi>. Ant. nf Scotland,' iii. p. 213. 

' Tlii'M' ditiii'aisions iilnl tlie |>lnn arr- Inkcii rrniu Sir H(-i«r\ .Tumon's work ou 
' SUmelu iigf^ TiiniHr'liiin,' Siv. 

a 2 



Chap. VI. 

ciuciJ'urin jilau ; but it is in fact only the trieameral armngement 
commou in tumuli in Caithness and other parts of the north of 
Scuthuii].' It aiipaieiilly was covered originally by a little cairn 
of its own ; but this hud disu|)|>i:'an.'d, and the tomb emjitied of its 
contents at suuie pi-riol anterior to the formation of the j)eat which 
had accumulated round the stones, and which was removed a few 
years ago by Sir James Matheson when this grave was first dis- 
covered. From the central gtnno a double avenue extends 294 feet, 
and from the same point soutlivvaid, a single row for 114 feet; 
making the whole length of the avenues 408 feet; while two 
anna extend east and west, measuring 130 feet across the whole. 

I believe it was John Stuart that first made the remark: — 
" Remove the cairn Irom New Grange, and tire pillars would form 
another Callemish ;"' '^ and there seems little doubt but that this is 
the true explanation <^f the jvoeiiliar t'onn of the monument. Nor 
is it difficult to see w by this should be tlie case ; for it must be borne 
in mind that tlie whole of the chambers and the access to them 
must have been constructed, and probably stood, naked for some 
time Iiefore they began to heap the cairn over them. Calliagh 
Birra'stomb (woodeutNo. 80), and the numerous "Grottesdesfees" 
we meet with in France and elsewhere I look on as chambers, some 
of which it was intended should be buried in tumuli, which, how- 
ever, never were erected ; others, when men had l)ocome familiar 
with the naked forms, were like many dolmens, never intended to 
be hidden. It may be a mere fancy; but I cannot escape from 
on impression that, in many instances at least, the chambers 
were conslrnctod during their lifetime by kings or chiefs as their 
own tombs, and tbat the cuiru was not raised over them till the 
lK)die^ were deposited in their recesses. This, at least, is the case 
in the East, where most of the great tombs were erected by those 
who were to lie in tliom. Dnring their lifetime they used them 
as pleasure-houses, and only after their death were the entrances 
walled up and the windows obscured, so as to produce the gloom 
supposed to be ajipropriatc to the rusiilences of tlio dead. Another 
point is worth observing. It seems most improbable tlmt sculptures. 

' Amiiroou, ou Unr uwl TuiuiUi iu CtulliueM, ' Pfoc. Sots. Ant. of Si-otland,' vi. p. 
442 et neqi/., nnil vii. p. 480 et tcqtj, 
* 'Scttlpturetl Stimos of !?c<'tland,' ii. p. x%.v. 

Chap. VI. 



sncli as are fuuud in the Irisli aud French churabered tumuli, could 
have been executed by artilicial light. Either the atouea were 
sculptured before being put into (heir places — which, to say the 
least of it, is very unlikely; or they were sculptured while the light 
could stUl pouetrate throuj^h the interstices of the stones forming 
the walls. In any case, however, the naked forms of these chambers 
must have been ]»erfectly familiar with those who used them ; aud 
tliero is no dillleulty in understanding why, as at Carrowmore or 
Calleniisli, they should have repeated the same forms which were 
certainly never intended to be covered up. 

From the occurrence of a similar form at Northern Jloytura 
(woodcut No. 59), used externally also, it may be argued that 
tliis may be of the same age. The Irish example, as explained 
above, is probably of the same age as the great chambered tumtdi 
of Meath; but there seems to be a difference bet\v<^t'n the two, 
which would indicate a very different state uf affairs. 

AtMoytura, the covering stones, though thrown down, still exist, 
and there is every appearance of direct imitation. At Calleruish, 
the size, the wide spueiiig, the pointed form of tlie stones, and the 
whole structure exhibit so marked a diflerenco from anything thut 
could bo intended to be covered up, that it certainly appears as 
if a long time had passed before the original use of the form could 
have been so completely overlooked as it has been in this instance. 
Everyone must determine for himself how many centuries he would 
interpose between Now Grange and Oallernish. To me it a{){>ears 
that an interval of very considerable duration must have elapsed 
between them. 

At Tormore, on the west coast of the Isle of Arran, there is a 
third group of these monuments, more numerous, but not on so 
large a scale as those of Steuuis or Cullernish, These were all 
carefully examined by Dr. Bryce, of Glasgow, assisted by a party 
of archaeologists, in 18G4, and the results recorded in the • Pro- 
ceedings of the Scottish Antiquaries,' ' and also in a small work on 
the tieology of Arran.' All were fonnd to contain sepulchral 
remains, except one which had been rifled, but there the cist still 
remained. The principal circle is now represenle^l by only three 

' Vol, IV. |i. <!W. 

» r.hwgow, iRiw, |t. imtttejq- 



Cakf. VI. 

upriglit stones, from 18 to 20 feet in height; but they origimiUy 
formed parts of a circle 60 feet iu diameter. Two other circles 
can be traced, and two kistvaens of considerable dimensions, and 
two obelisks ou the biyh grouml, whieli apparently formed parts 
either of circles or of some other groups of stones. 

Though not bo large as the otlier two grou[>8 named above, this 
one at Tormore is interesting because it aftbrds fair means of 
testing wliether these groups were cemeteries, or marked battle- 
fields. Here tlie two principal circles are situated on a jieat moss 
which extends to some feet, at least, below the bottom of the 
pillars, and the w^pulchral deposits were found in the peat. Others 
of these Tormore monutneuts are situated where the pent joins the 
sandy soil, an<l others are situated on the summit of the sandy 
hills, wbifli here extend some way in from the shore. Xow it seems 
hardly probable that such a diversity of taste should have existed 
in any line of princes. If the peat was chosen as a resting-place 
for some, it probably would have been for all. If elevated sandy 
hilliJL'ks woro mori! rli^'ible for that purpose, why should some 
have chosen the bog ? and if a cemetery, why not all close together? 
They extend for about half a mile east and west at a distance of 
about a mile from the shore, and on about as desolate a plain as 
one could find ftnywliore. If n battle was fought here against some 
enemy who bud landed in tlie buy, and those who were killed in it 
were interred where they fell, all the appearances would be easily 
exjplaiui^d ; but it is (lifllcult to guess who the chiefs or princes 
couhl bo who were buried here, if tliey had leisure to select their 
labt n-stiiig-place, or why they should have been buried in this 
gcrambling fashion. 

There are the remains of two other circles and one obelisk in 
Brodick Bay, on the other side of the island, but widely scattered, 
and with nothing to indicate their purpose. Tliere are also other 
circles and detached standing stones in the JIull of Cantyre, up 
to the Crinan Canal; but the published majis of the Ordnance 
Survey do not extend so far, and such accounts as have been pub- 
lished are too vague to admit of any coucJusious being drawn 
from them either as to their age or uses. 

The Al>erdi'rnshire circles, above alluded to. difler in some 
respects from those found in other parts of the country, anil arc 

Chap. Vr. 



thiis described by Colonel Forbes Leslie, in a Paper read to the 
British Association this year: — " The principal group of stones in 
tlu'so eircles always contuius one stone, larger than the rest, which 
in diftorent monuments varies from 11 to 10 feet in length, and 
from 2 to 6 in breadth. It is never placed upright; but close 
at each end of this recumbent monolith stand two columnar 
8t/ones; these vary in height from 7 to 10 feet, and have genenilly 
been selected of a pyramidal form. From the face, and near the 
ends of the recumbent stone, two stones project about 4 feet into 
the circle, and the recess thus formed is occupied by a stone laid 
flat on the gruund. 

" In several of these circles a raised platform, if or G feet 
broad, and 18 or 24 inches high, can be traced. Thb has been 
supported on the outer side by a low wall connecting the coUvmnar 
stones, which are disposed at e<pial distances on the circumference. 
The inner side of the platform has been supported by stones little 
more than its height, placed near each other. 

" Circles of this sort are fouud at A^pdiortiea, Tyrebngger, 
Balquhain, riothiemay, Parkbouse, near Deer, Daviot, New Craig, 
Dunadeer, il'c, in AlKjrdeeiishire. There is also a circle on the 
"Candle Hill of Old Rayne,"' within eight of whicli. on the slope 
of a ridge about a mile distant, stood the two sruljttiueil stones 
now at Newton, — on one of which is the unique alphabetical 
inscription; and on the other a serpent, with the broken sceptre, 
surmounted by the double disk, usually called the Spectacle 

Their general arrangement will be un( from the 
woodcut overleaf, representing one at Fiddes Hill, figured in 
the fifth volume of * Arclueologia,* which may Ix^ taken as a 
ty]>e of the rest. The sepulchral depn.sit here, is no doubt, in the 
raised part, in front of tiio great stone, and not in the centre, — 
a peculiarity we have already had occasion to remark upon in 
the smaller circles at Stanton Drew and Stennis. This, however, 
does not seem to have been always the case. The circle, for 
instance, at Kayne, above alluded to, was excavated under the 

' In tlie ' Arotiwologia,' vol. xxii. j»p. 200 mid 202, »re pious i»iul views of six 
Alichlcciishiro circlo», ftml two more are giv"©:! iu the siiriio volume (urtlict uii. 


Thap. Vt 


superiiitcmdonec of Mr. Stuart,' tmd found to contain in its centre 
n |)it, ill which were "u quantity of black uioulil, incuierated 
bones, and some bits of charcoal. Fragments of smtiU unis were 

aim found, and 
all the usual ] 
a c c o m p a n i- 
ments of a se- 
pulchral depo- 
sit." In con- 
cluding his ac- 
count of it, Mr. 
Stuart snys: — 
"It is worthy 
of remark, that 
on the 2nd of 
May, 1349, Wil- 
liam, Bishop of 
Aberdeen, held 
a court at 
the Standing 
Stones of 

r{a)Tic, at which the King's Jnstici.'ir was present " (* Regst. 
Episc. Aberd.' vol. i. p. 79, Spuld. Clid)), Thus clearly proving 
not only the sepulchral nature of the circles, but the use that 
was .subsequently made of them. 

If we may connect these stones at Itayne with the Newton 
stones, as Colonel Forbes Leslie is inclined to do, we obtain a 
proof of a post-Christian date for this sepulcliral circle, as woU aa 
a medifcval use; and though I have iiu doubt that all this is 
correct, the mere juxtaposition of the sculiitiired stones and the 
cirele hardly seems sufficient to rely upon. 

In the Appendix to the Preface of the first volume of the 
• Sculptured Stones,' Mr. Stuart records excavations made in some 
fourteen circles, similar, or nearly so, to tjiis one at Ilayne ; and 
in all sepulchral deposits, more or less distinct, were found. In 
some, as in that of Crichie, before alluded to, a sepnlidiral deposit 
was found at the foot of each of the six stones which surroujided 


Ctrcle at FltlJo lllll, 40 fert In (tUmetn. 

' ' Sculptured StoiiM of Scotluud," vi«I. i. \i. xsli 

Cmai'. VI. 



it. Like many of our English circles, this lasit wtis surrounded by 
a niout, in this instanco 20 feet wide and (J feet deep, crossed 
by two entrances, as is Arbor Low and the Penrith eircle, and 
within the moat stood the stones. As a general rule, it may 
be oaserted that all the Scotch circles, having a diameter not 
exceeding 100 feet, when scieutifleally explored, have yielded 
evidences of sepulchral uses. bSuch, ccrtaiuly, is the result of 
Mr. Stuart's experience, as detailed iilx>ve ; of Dr. Bryce's, in 
Arran; of Mr. Dyce Nicol* and others, in Kincardine; and 
elsewhere. Colonel Forbes Leslie informs me that he has not 
been so fortunate in some of those he mentioned in his lecture, 
which ho either oj)oned himself or learnt the details of on the 
spot. Some of these he admits, however, had been opened before, 
others disturbed by cultivation ; tmd altogether his experiences 
8vem to be exceptiontd, and far from conclusive. The prepond- 
erance of oddence is so overwhelming on the one side, that we 
nuvy be perfectly content to wait the explanation gf such excep- 
tional Oiises as these. 

The Aberdeenshire circles are all found scattered singly, or 
at most in pairs, in remote and generally in barren parts of the 
country; so that it is evident they neither marked battle-fields 
nor even cemeteries, but can only be regarded a« the graves 
of chielfl, or sometimes, it may be, family sepulchres. There 
is one group, however, at Clava, about five miles east from 
Inverness, which is of more than usual interest, but regai-ding 
which the [lublished accounts are neither so fidl nor so satisfactory 
as could be wished.* 

According to Mr. Innes, the ruins of eight or nine cairns can 

^ In SeptvmtMr, 1858, Mr. Dyce Niool, 
witli « party of experienced archiixilo- 
gisU, cjtfovatefl four circles sitiiatfMi in 
rt niw, iiud extending for nejirly n mile, 
on tlic mad frniii Aberdeen to Stooo- 
liitvon, and alw^ut I J utile fn>iu the ena. 
T)ie flntt and lant iind liei<n disturbed 
li«fnre, but tbe ec«ond, at King CauE»ie, 
and the third, at A<|uhortie8, yieldnl 
undoubted evideiieea of their sepulchral 
origin. The coucluaiuu tliese gentlemen 
»rrivt«l at wii«, tbat "whutever ntber 
purposuB tliuK) ciivliw tuity liuve served. 

ODO use of tbem was ns a place of burial." 
— Froetalingi Soe. Ant. Scot. v. p. 131. 

* I regret lunch that I have Ix'on 
unable to viiiit this placo myaelf. It 
wita, however, corofidly surveyed by 
Cuptnin Charles Wilson, when ho was 
attached to titc Ordnance Survey at 
Invemeas. He also uiodc detailed pliius 
ond hkeU'hen of uU the luonmnentc, but, 
unfortuuutely, sent them to the Onl- 
nanco Uflice at Sontbaiupton, and tbey 
cmiBO|uently iii-c not accessible nur avail- 
oble for mir priwut pur|io«.a. 



Chap. VI. 

still be tlistjugnislied, though the ivhole of the little valley or 
depression in which they are situated seems stream with blocks 
wliich uiHV have belonged to others, but wIiil-Ii the advancing 
tide of cultivation hiis swept mvay. The most perfect of those 
now reuiaining are three at the western end of the valley, the 

two outer and larger 
cainis stand about 
lOOyards apart. They 
are of stone, about 70 
feet in diameter, sui^ 
rounded by a circle of 
upright stones mea- 
suring 100 feet across. 
The intennediate one is smaller, being only 50 feet, with a circle 
80 feet in diameter.' The two extreme ones have been opened, and 
found to coutjiin circular cliajnbers about 12 feet in diameter, 
and 9 in height, with passages leading to tboni about 15 feet 
long luid 2 feet wide ■ and in tAvo or three instances the stones in 
them were adorned with cup-marking, though it does not appear 


91. PliiD of CUvt Monodx. From Ordniuiot Survfy. 
25 Inch (cale. 


M. Vi«w of Cliiva Mounds. From ■ drawing by Sir. liinu. 

that they were otherwise sculptured.* In that to the west two 
sepulchral urns were found, just below the level of the original 
soil. They were broken, however, in extracting thom; and they 
do not appear to have been put together again or drawn, so that 
no conclusions can be deduced from them as to the age of the 

Meagre as this information is, it is sufficient to show that Clnva 

' Theae diraensinns are taken partly 
fniiii the Ordnnnw Surrey Sheet, 25-iiu-h 
walo, »nd partly from Mr. Inuos'a p«|>or 

in 'Procoedtnga Soc. Ant.' iii. 
rl iwqq. 

' IftiJ. Appendix, vi. pi. x. 

p. 40 

Chap. Vf. 



does not mark a battle-field. Curefully-constmcted chambers with 
liorizontally-yaultoJ roofs are not such monuments as soldiers 
erect in haste over the graves of their fallen chiefs. It evidently 
is a cemetery; and, with the knowledge we have acquired from 
the examination of those iu Ircdund, there cannot be much hesi- 
tation in ascribing it to that dynasty which was represented by 
King 13rnde, when St. Columba, in the sixth century, visited him 
in his "Muuitio," un the banks of the Kess.' If King 13nide were 
resdly converted to Christianity by Columba, it is by no means 
improbable that the small square enclosure at the west end of 
the"heugh," which is still used us the biiryiug-plnce of Pagan, 
or at least unbuptized babies, marked the spot where he and 
his successors were laid after the rare had been weaned from 
the more noble burial-rites of their forefathers. 

It would be extremely interesting to follow out this inquiry 
further, if the materials existed for so doing; as few problems 
are more perplexed, and at the same time, of their kind, more 
import^mt, than the origin of the Picts, and their relations with 
the Irish and the Gaels, Language will not help us here : we 
know too little of that spoken by the Picts; hut these monuments 
certainly would, if any one would t^ke the trouble to investigate 
the question by 
u careful com- 
parison of all ^t^f^'^^Sj i~ 
those existing 
in Scotland and 

In the south 
of Scotland, for 
instance, we find 
such a stone as 
this at Coils- 
field, on the 

Ayr,' which, taking the dilierence of drawing into account, is 
identical witli that represented in woodcut No. 71. There is the 


Stone «l CpKiOcM. 

' Rooveii, ' Adoiunaii. Vita St. Cnltiml:>.' p. t5ft. 
» Wilson *' Prehistoric Annnls,' p. 332. 



CUAP. Vf. 

The sculptured stones of the Plots are, however, quite sufficient 
to prove a close affinity of race between the two peoples, but 
always with a diflerence, which is evident on even a cursory 
examinutiou. To take one instance. There is a very beautiful 
stone at Aberlemmo, near Brechin, which is said to have been put 
up to record the victory gained over the Danes at Loncarty, in 
the last years of the tenth century.' Be this as it may, there seems 
no reason for doubting that it is a biitUe-stone, and does belong 
to the century in which popular trudition places it. On the front 
is a cross, but, like all in Scotland, without breaking the outline of 
the stone, which still retains a remiuiscenre of its Rude form. 
In Ireland, the arms of the cross as invariubly extend iK-ytind the 
luio of the stone, like those at lona, which are Irish, and these 
are generally joined by a circular Glory. The ornaments on the 
cr»j8s are the same in Ixith cfiuutries, juid generally consist of 
that curious interlacing basket-work pattern so eommnn also in 
the MS8. of that ago in iKjth countries, hut which exist nowhere 
else, that I am aware of, except in Armenia.* The so-called 
" key " ornament on the hfirizental amis of the cross at Alier- 
lemino seems also of Eastera origin, as it is found in tho Saruath 
Tojie, near Benares, and elsewhere, but is coramon to both 
countries; as is also the dragon ornament on the side of the 
cross, though this hmks more like a Scandiuiivian ornament than 
anything that can claim an origin further east. 

Among the iliffereuces it may be remarked that the figjire- 
subject"? on Irish crosses almost invariably refer to the 8<;ene8 of 
the ri«;sion, or are taken from the Bible. On the Scotch stones, 
they !is constantly refer to liattle or hunting incidents, or to what 
may be considered as events in civil life. Tho essential difference, 
however, is, that, with scarcely an exception, tho Pictish stones 
liear some of those emblems which have proved such a puzzle to 
antiquaries. The so-culled broken sceptre, the brotx-h, and the 
nlt4ir, are seen in tho Aberlemmo stone ; bnt in earlier examples 

' Gordon, ' Iter Bcpteintrionale,' p. l.M. 

' In luy ' History "f Arrhitpoturo,' 
ii. p. .S45, I vt'utiireil tiiniiUy to hint 
that this Aniii-nlnn (imoiiifnt wriuld l>p 
round identical with that in thp Irish 
and Pietiali cmMeg. Since then I hnvo 

AMD & aeries of photographs or Armcnino 
chiirchca, wliirh Ipuvp no dnuht in my 
mind thnt tliia aimiluritr ia not acci- 
dpiitul, Imt Ihut the one country har- 
rowed it from the otlier. 

Chap. VI. 



they are far more important and iiiHuitely various.* It may also 
be worthy of remark that tho only two real round towers out of 
Ireland aJoru the two Pictish capitals of Breeliiii luul Abernethy. 
All this piirits to a difTcnmco tluit oan well mako us understaud 
why St. <Jolmnlirt should have required iiu intorprotcr iu spcakiug 
to the Picts ; ' but also to a resemhhince that would lead ua to 
anderstuud that the cemetery at Clava was the counterpart of 
that on tho banks of tho Boyne, with the same relative degree 
of raagniticencc as tiie Kings of invprncss boro to those of Tara ; 
and if we do not find similar tumuli at Brechin or Abernethy, it 
must he that tho kings of these provinces — if there were any — 
were converted to Christiiuiity before they adopted this mode of 
burial. It may l>e suggested that, as Mae.s-H«nvf is oertaiuly the 
lineal descendant of the monuments on the Boyne, it too must 
be a Celtic or Pictish tomh. For the reasons, however, given 
alxjve, such a thwiry seems wholly untenable ; but thus ranch 
may be granted, that sm.-li a tomb woulil prohaLly not have been 
erected, oven by a Northman, in a country where there was not 
nn underlying Celtic or Pictish popidntiou. 

Before leaving these sculptured stones, it may be as well to 
point out one of those anomalies which meet us so frequently 
in these enquiries, and show how little ordinary probabilities 
suffice to guide to the true conclusion. Among the sculptured 
stones of Scotland, one of the oldest is probal)ly the Newton 
stone. It has at least an Oghan inscription on its edge ; and 
most antiquaries will admit that Oghan engravings on stone wore 
discontinued when alphabetic writing was introduced and gene- 
rally understood. It also has an alphabetic inscription on its 
face, but the letters are not Roman. They may be bad Greek, but 
certainly they appear to be pre-Boman, and therefore probably the 
earliest Scotch inscription known. There is another stone at Kirk- 
liston, near Edinburgh, which has a Latin inscription on it. It is 
a "cat" or battle-stone, and recortls the name of Vetta, the son of 
Victis, in g<xx\ Latin. Whether this Vetta is, or is not, the 
grandfather of Hengist and Horsu, as Sir James Simpson con- 

' Seo Btuart'ii ' ^citliiturtcl Stones.' an<l Colonel ForU'8 Lealic'a ' Early Rawa ot 
Seotlanrl,' pufn'm. ' Uih'vi'ij, ' Adniniinii. Vitft St. 0>luml>.' pp, O.t ninl HS. 



Chap. VI. 

QU Stoue, KIrkUiMon. 

temled,' is of no great consequence to our present argnment. 
It is of about their age, and therefore as old as any of the other 

stones in Scotlfiud ; and there is 
— also a third at Yarrow,'' with a later 

±s uisfri[)tiou, wliich seems alwut the 

same age as the Lothian example. 
Now the c'urions part of tliis matter 
is, that having begun with alpha- 
betic writing, they entirely disrou- 
tiniii'd it. and during the nix or 
st'vrii t-eutuni's through which thc*e 
sculptured stones certidniy extend, 
it is the rarest possible thuig to 
find one with m\ al[ihabetic in.scrip- 
tion ; and nhy this should be so 
is by no means tdcar. Take, for 
instance, the Aberlemmo stone just 
quotetl. The people who erected it were Chri.stians, — witne.s8 the 
cross: the oraaraents on it are almost identical with those found 
in Irish MS.S. Kyi the seventh and eighth centuries.^ It is thus 
evident that the persun.s who drew these ornaments could write, 
tind being able to write and carve with such exquisite precision, 
it seems strange they never thought of even putting the name 
of the persons who erected the stone or some word expressive of 
its pnri)080. The Irish probably would have done so ; and the 
8can<linavian8 would have covered them with Runes, as they did 
those they erecteil in the Isle of Slan, though probublyat a some- 
what later date. In the instance of the two crosses illustrated in 
the woodcuts, Noa. 97 and 98, the first bears nn inscnption to 
the ofTect that " Sanditlf the Swarthy erected this cross to his wife, 
Arnbjijrg." From their names, both evidently of SciunHnavian 
origin. The inscription on the side of the second runs thus: "Mai 
Lumkuii erected this cross to his foster-father Malmor, or 
Mul Mutu."* Both names of undoubted Gaelic derivation, thus 

' * PrococdingB Soc. Ant. 8cot.' iv. p. 

119 c< «r(j(J. 

' n>iii. iv. p. 524. 

* W£wtwood,'Fac8imileBorijriBLMS8.' 

ploU-B 4-28. 

• TliL'BO two wiKxlcuta ftrc borrowful 
frotn Woreaae, 'Tlio Daura uiid NortL- 
mon.' Txiiidnii, 1S52. 

t'HAr. VI. 






97. Cn» III If-k- "f >liin, brnriiig 

Kullfc lllHTijlliML 

showing that nt tliat age at leiist auy ethnographic theory that 
woultl give these stones exclweively to cither race can hardly 
be maintained. The two races soeni 
then to have followed tlio frt.shinn 
of the (lay as thoy did in ruder 
times. Except in the instance of the 
St. Vigean's stone on which Sir James 
Sini]>,son read the name of Pn).stnn.^ 
ascribing it with very fair certainty 
to the year 729 a.d., none of the 101 
stone.!? illustrateil in the Kplcndid 
volumes of the Spnlding Cluh con- 
tains hardly a scrap of olphalx'tic 
writing. Throughout they preferred 
a strange sort of HiTiildie syniliolism, 
which still defies the iiipeiiuity of 
our best antiquaries to interpret. It 
was a very perverse ctiurse to pui-sue, but while men did so, 
probably as Inte as Sueno's time, A.n. 1008,' it ia needless to ask 
why men set up rude stones to commemorate events or persons 
when they could have carved or inscriljed 
them ; or why, in fact, as we would insist 
on iloing, they did not avail themselves 
of all the res<mrces of the art or the 
learning which they possessed ? 

Tho other rndo-stone monuments of 
Scotland are neither numennis nor im- 
])oi'tant. I>aiuel Wil.'^oa enumerates some 
half-ilozen of dolmens as still existing in 
the lowlands and in parts of Argyllshire, 
but none of them are important from their 
size, nor do they prescjtt any peoulinrities 
lo distinguLsh them In .in those of Wab^s '"• «>.« m «f m«i.. i».nri,„ 

- iuimU: Ini>rrl|iiiuii. 

or Irehmd; while no tmditiim has attaehid 

itself to any of them in such a manner as tn give a hint of their 

age or purpose. Besides these, there are a number of single stones 


' ' Sculptured Stones of Scotlanit," ii. p. 70. 

« OBinden. ' Brit.' 12CS. 



Chaf. VI. 

Bcattereil here and there over the country, but there is uothinj^ 
to indicate whether they are cat stones or mark boundiu'ies, or 
merely graves, so that to enumerate them would be aa tedious as 
it would bo unin-siruotivf. Wluit little interest may attach to 
them "nill be better ai)i>reciatod when we have examined those 
of Scandinavia tuid France, which are more numerous, as well as 
more easily understootl. \Vhen, too, we have mastered them in 
so far as the materials available enable us to do, we shall Iw 
able to appreciate the signKicjuicc of much that has been 
enunciated. Bleanwhile it may be as well t<.i remark that what 
we alretidy seem to have gaine<l is a knowledge that a circle- 
building race t-ame from the nortli. touching first at the Orkneys, 
and, passing down through the Hebridi'S, divided^lves on 
the north of Irehmd— one branch settling; on the west coast of 
that island, the other liuidiug in Ctinilx^rhuid, imd penetrating 
into England in a south-easterly direction. 

In like mimner we seem to have a didraen-building race who 
from the south first touched in Cornwall, and thence spread 
northwards, stalling on both sides of St. George's Channel, and 
leaWng traces of their existence on the south and lioth coasts of 
Ireland, as well as in Wales and the west of Englimd generally. 
Whether these two opjx>8ite currents were or were not syn- 
chronous is a question that must Ix^ determined hereafter. We 
shall also Ik' in a better position to as<':ertain what the races 
were wlio thus spread themselves along our coasts, when we have 
examineil the only countries from which it is probable they 
could have issued. 

Chap. V[F. 






So much hftfl been said Ly the Danes ami thtjir ailmirers of the 
services thiit Lhoy have rcudereil to the study of prehistoric 
orcharology that it is rather disuppuiutiug to fiu<l that, when 
looked into, almost leas is known regardhig their raegalithic 
monuments than regarding those of any other country in Europe. 
No work has yet liet^n published giving anything like a statistical 
account of them, and no map exists showing their diNtriliution. 
What Little information can \>o obtained regarding the Danish 
dolmens, and other similar monuments, is scattered tliroiigh so 
mtmy vohimes of transactions and detached essays that it is 
extremely difficult to arrive at any connected view of them — 
almost, indeed, imjHjssible for any one who is not locally familiar 
with the provinces in which they are found. The truth seems 
to be that the Danish antiquaries have been so busy in arranging 
their microlithic treasures in glass cases that thny have totally 
neglected their larger monuments outside. They have thus 
coUectetl riches which no other nation possesses, and have con- 
structed a very perfect granuuar and vocabulary of the science. 
But a grammar and a dictionary are neither a history nor a 
philosophy ; and though their hibours may eventually bo most 
useful to future entpiirers, they are of very little use for our 
present purposes. They have indeed up to this time been rather 
prejndicijil than otherwise, by leading people to believe that 
when they can distijiguisli bt-'tween a tlint or bronze or iron 
implement they know the alpha and omega of the science, and 
that nut Ling further is required to determine the relative date 
of any given monument. It is as if we were to adopt the simplo 
chemistry of the ancients, and divide all known sul^stances into 



Chap. VIL 

earth, water, fire, mid air: a division not only c^onvpiiient but prac- 
tically 80 true tlijit there is very litth;^ to Iw sniil aguLust it. It 
is not, however, uji tn tlie mark of the knowledf^e of the day, and 
ftinits to take notice of the fact that eiirths ean occasionally be 
crmvorttxl into phases, antl airs eonverted into liquids or soliflified, 
Instead of their simple system, what is now wanted is sonietliin"; 
that will take into account the different races of mankind — some 
progressive, some the reverse — and the different acoidenfs of 
success and prosiH?rity, or disaster and poverty: the one leading 
to the aggregation of detached conmmnities into great centres, 
and consequent progress ; the other leading to dispersion and 
stagnation, if not retrocession, in the art,*! of lifr which tend 
towards what we call civilization. At the Intermit iunal Congress 
of Prehistoric Archicology, held at Copenhagen in the autumn of 
1809, it Mas undcrstiHid that many of the Ix'st Northern anti- 
quaries were inclined to abandon, to a very eonsidinililr extent, 
tin* hard iind l'u»t lines of their iirst .system, and to arliuit not 
only that there may be considerable overlapping, but even, in some 
instances, that its indications were not iu accordjince with the facts. 
Jloro than two years have elapsed since the Congress was hehl, 
but the volume containing the aceoiuit of its prweeduigs is not 
yet published; when it is, we may proliably be in a position to 
sjieak much mori! favourably not only of their views but of the 
extent of their knowledge of the imtiquities in question. 

Under these circumstances, we may congratulate ourselves in 
possessing such a work as that of Sjoborg,* He flTote, fortu- 
nately, before the Danish system was invented, but, unfortunately, 
before drawing and engraving had reached the precision and 
clearness which now characterize them. In consequence of tho 
last defect, we cannot always feel sxu-e of oiir ground in basing 
an argument on his drawings; but, generally S2)ea]vuig, he is so 
honest, so free fi'oni system, that there is very little danger in 
this respect. The work has also the merit of being &» free from 
the speculations alxiut Druids and Serpents which disfigure the 
contemporary works of ICugliish antiquaries, as it is from the three 
ages of the Danes; though, on the other hand, he relegates all 

'Katuliiigar fur Nnwlere FornAliikar^,' StncLluilm, 1822-1830, 

CllAl'. VII. 



the dolmens and such like niomiments to a prehisturic " Joter," 
or giant ruce, who prt'feded, ai'twrdin}? to his vii'\\s, Oilin juid his 
tnip SfiindLuuvituiB, to mIhhh he asLTilx's hII ^Uv Inily iiistoric. 

In addition to the difficulties arising from the paucity of 
information regarding the monuments, the Scandinavians have 
not yet made U]f tlii'ir iiiiuds with regard to th^ir wirly chrono- 
logy. Even the vast follections coutaLnt'd iu the pondt^rous tomes 
of Langehcfk and Suhm ' are far from sufficing for the purpose ; 
and such authow as Saxo Grammatieus' write with an easy 
fluency too characteristic of our own Jeffrey of Jloumouth, and 
others who bury true history under such a mass of fables as 
unikes it extremely difficult to recover what we are really seeking 
for. Patient industry, combined with judicious criticism, would, 
no doubt, clear away most of the ^►bscurities which now disfigure 
this page of uifdiieval history ; but, nirninvhile, the Scaudiuaviau 
auiuils are as obscure as the Irish» and nuire uncertain than the 
CDUtHmjMirary annals <:>f England. 

Of the history of Semidiuavia uuteriur to the Christian era, 
absolutely nothing is known. It is now iu> longer afhuissiible to 
believe in a historic Odin, whom all tho medieval historians 
rcprcstnit hs living in the first century H.C'., and as the t'unnder of 
those families who phiy so iiupirtunt a part in the ,sid>sc(picnt 
histories of our own ms well as of the whtjle group of Northern 
nations. The mwlem scIuhjI of Germans bus discovered that 
Udiu was a gud who lived in tlie sky in pre-Adamite times, and 
never condescended to visit our subluuury sphere. It is now rank 
heresy to assume that during the thousand years which ulajjsed 
between his pretended date and that of our earliest MSS. tlie 
wild imaginings of barbarous tribes nuiy not have gathered round 
the inch'stinct form of a national hero, transferred him hack to a 
mythic age, and endowed him with the attributes and surroundings 
of a god. As tlie Germans have decreed this, it is iu vain to 
dispute it, and not wortli while to attempt it here, as for our 
present purposes it is of the least possible consequence. 

' ScripU>rc8 ivruin Diuiiiyiruiti lucilii hjvL,' 9 vxh. folio. Ilafuiie, 1722 el miqq. 
' 'Iliutiirim UiinivK,' ltl>. xvL Bono, 1(M4, ill fxl. 



About the Christian era there is said to have been a king, 
called Frode I., wlio, as he never was deified, may have had 
a tomb on earth, aud might, if that conld be ideutified, be allowed 
tu Lead our list. Between him and Uarald Hart'agar, who, iu 
880, conquered Norway and came into distinct contact with British 
history in the Orkneys, we have several lists of kings, more or 
less complete, and with dates more or less certain.' That there 
were kings in those days, no one will probably dispute, nor perhaps 
is the succession of the names donbtlul ; and if the dates err to 
the extent of even fifty years or so, it is of little consequence 
to our argument. The mouuraeuts extend so far down, and to 
kings whose dates are so jierfectly ascertained, that it is of no 
importance whether the earlier ones arc assigned to dates forty 
or iifty years too early or too late. Their fixation may be left to 
future researeh, as it has no direct bearing on the theory we are 
now trying to investigate. 


The chief nf the Scandiiiavaiiiaii iiionumeuts, and the most 
interesting for our present objeet, comprise lliose groups of stones 
which mark battle-fields. Not only are their dates generally 
known with sufficient precision to throw considerable light on the 

' The f>>]]<iwiii{; liat of tlic kin(;8 of Dt'umork, copied from Duiihum's, and giving 
the iluti-a from Suhm, aud Snurru'« ' UfiBmkringln,' will proljAbly uuttice fur our 

Frode 1 35 

Fridlicf <7 

Havor 69 

FrodoII 87 

Wenuund 140 

Oliif 190 

Dau Mykiliuto .. .. 270 

Firide III 310 

Ilitirdun 1 321 

FridUcfUI a48 

FwicVf 407 

Ingrel -130 

Hnirdiinll 447 

FndcV 460 

Hrlgoiuid Itoc .. .. OH 

Frwlo VI 510 


Subm. Soom. 

A.D, A.II. 

Rolf K rake 522 479 

Frcnli- VII 548 , , 

Halfibm III 580 554 

lluric 588 ,, 

iTor 047 587 

llurald Kildt'tuud .. 735 ,, 

Sigurd Ring .. 750 — 

Hftjunr I^illilirog .. 79i — 

Sif^urd Snogogo.. .. 803 — 

llorda CuniiU) .. .. 850 — 

Ericl 854 — 

Eric II 883 — 

Hiirald ILirfiigur .. — 8C3 

Goriu thf Old (died?) 941 — 

lIiiruldBkUtnd.. .. 901 — 

Bwcyn 1014 — 

Chap. VII. 



question of the antiquity of such monuraents in general, but they 
also illustrate, if thoy do not determine, the use of many of the 

groajw of stones we meet with iti other oountrios. SjGhorg devotes 
ten phiteu in his first volume to these battle-tiehls, illustnitiiig 
twice tliat number of battles which oi.Turreil between tlic fifth 
and the twelfth centuries after Christ. 

The first of these, at Koiigsbiieka, near the coast in Halland, 
though of somewhat uncertain date, is wortli quoting from its 
similarity to the alignments on Dartmoor, Ashdown, Karnac, and 
elsewhere, though, unfortunately, no plan or dimensions arc given. 

Vtrw of I)*ttle-B«Ul *t Eongabackik Prom E^jCborg. 

On the hills beyond is u tumulus called the grave of Frotle, and 
on the plain a coiLsiiifUou-* stone bears bis name ; but whether 
this was Frode V. (400) or some other Frode is not clear. 
Sjoborg assigns it to a tlatu about 500, and there seems very 
little reason to doubt he is at least approxiraatively correct.' 

The second battle-field illustrated is similar to the last, 
except in the funu of the atones, which scera to belong to a 
dilfereut mineralogical formation.* Tlio}' are plainly, however, seen 
to be arranged in circles and lines, and are even more like forms 
with which we are familiur elsewhere. It is said to represent 
a battle-field in wliich the Swedish king Adil fought the Danish 
Snio, and iii which the latter with the chiefs Eskil and Alkil were 
slain. As all these names are familiarly known in the mcdiojval 
history of tla'Si; countries there can be no groat difiic-ulty in 
as(;ribiug this battle also to about the same age as that at 

■Bamliugor,' &c. i. (ilntc 11, It^' :)S. i>. 104. 

» Luc. iiip. nt., flg. 3S). 



Chap VIT. 

With the third we tread on surer gi'ound. No event in the 
history of these hinds is l>etter known tliau the fight on the Braa- 
valla Heath, in Osterfjothland, wliere the Wind old kin<r, Harald 
liildetand, met his fate in tho year 73(5, or 7.'»0 according to 
others. As the Saga tells ns, Odia had, when the king was young, 
tiiUf^ht him a form of tactics whifh gave him a superiority in 
battle over all his enemies; but the gotl having withdrawn his 
favour from him, h(3 fell before the prowess of his nephew, Sigurd 
Ring, to whom the god had commuuicated the secret of the 
b'»ttlo array. It docs not appear to admit of doubt that tho 
fircles shown in the cut in the opposite [Mige were erecte<l to com- 
luemoratje this event, and that they contain the botiies of those 
who were slain in this action ; and if this is so, it throws con- 
siderable li«jht on the l)attIe-fiehlM of ^Toyturn, ilhi-strated woodcutaj 
Nos. 54 to 01. The circles on Braavalla are generally from 20 to' 
40 feet in diameter, and consequently are, on the average, smaller 
than those at Jroytura ; they are also more numerous, unless we 
adopt Petrie's suggestion,' that there must originally have been at 
least two hundred in the Irish iield j and if so, it is the smaller 
ones that would certainly bo the first to be cleared away, so that 
the similarity may originally have been greater than it now is — 
HO great, indeed, as to render it diSicult to account for the fact 
that two battle-fields should have been marked out in a manner so 
similar when so long a time as seven centuries had elapseil between 
them. As it does not appear possilile that the date of tho Braavalla 
fight can be shifted to the extent of fifty years either way, aro 
MO deceiving ourselves about Moytura? Is it possible that it 
represents some later descent of Scandinavian Vikings on the west 
coast of Ireland, and that the cairn on Knocknarea— 

" lli;:h niid brontj, 
Dy tlie sailors over the wave* 
'J"o be Ht«n afiifi 
The l»ai«in of the war ronowuwl"' — 

which they built up during ten days — is really the grave of some 
Northern hero who fell in some subsequent fight at C'arrow- 
nu>re ? That all these are tuouuraents of the same class, 
and Iwhing, if not to the same peojjle, at least to j)eople8 in close 

• 8ti>ke«, ' Life of Petrii-,' p. JMJO. 

' Ik<(iwul£, tof. §up. eit. 



contact with ono anutlier, and liavinp; Bttuilar fniths and feeliiigs, 
does not ap[)ear to admit of doubt. Wlien, however, we come to 
look more closely at tliem, there are peculiarilies altoiit them which 
may account fur even so groit a lapse of titiio. Tin.' Bruuvulla 
circles are smaller, and on the whole pi'rhaps, we may assume, 
degenerate. There nre square and triangiiliir graves, and other 
forms, which, so far us we know, are comparatively mtwleru in- 
Yt'utioiis, and, altogether, there are changes which may account 
for that lapse of time ; but that more than seven centuries elapsed 
between the two seems to be mu-^t improbable. 

To return, however, to King Hildotand, According to the saga, 
" After the battle the couqueror, t^igurd King, ciiuscd a search to 
be made ibr the body of his uncle. The body when found was 
washed and placed in the chariot in which Haruld had fought, 
and transported into the interior of a tumulus which Sigurd 
hud caused to be raised. Harald's horse was then killed and 
buried in the mound with the saddle of King, so that the king 
might at pleasure prweed to Widhalla either in his chariot or on 
horseback. Eing then gave a great tunend feast, and invite«l all 
the nobles and warriors present to throw into the mound great 
rings and noble armour, in honour of the king Jlarald. They 
then closed up the mound with care."* This mound still exists 

U^uld IllUcUuid's Tumb si LcUini.> 

ot Lethra's Ilarald, eiipiUl in Seehind. It was mentioned by 
Saxo tlrammaticus in 123(3,^ and described and drawn by Ohuis 
Wonuius in IMS;* and no one ever doubted its identity, till 
recently the Museum authorities caused excavations to be 

' Engelhardt, 'Guide illtutr^ dn Miue'u 
h Cojjcuhaguc,' p. 33. 

' The woodcut is copied from a drawing 
ill Sjilliors-, ii. fig. 214. It is ropotited by 
y/onaae, lac. tup. ciL, both copying from 

Bonie originnl I ImTe not cnrwl to tiure. 

• 'Uibtnria Danicii,' viii. p. 1;H3. 

' ' l>iiuiooruin Muniuiicut.' liliri Bex, 
i. p. 12. 

Chap. VII. 



le. Unfortunately some "wedges of Hint" have Ijeen fotunl 
in the eartli wliicli wjis extracted iVtuu the chainher, from 
which Worsfiae uud hia brother antiqiiuries at onec concliided 
that " it ia lieyond all doubt merely u common cromlech of the 
stone period"* — a c<mclusion that seems to me the reverse of 
logical. No one, I presume, doubts that King Hildetand was 
buried in a tumulus with rings and arms; and if this tumulus 
was regarded historically as his, fur the lust GOO yem-s, imd tradi- 
tionally so from the time of his death, it is incumbent upon the 
antiquaries to show how worthless these traditions and histories 
are, and to jxiint out where he really rests. To form an empirical 
system ami to itssert — v, hich they cannot prove — that no ilint implo- 
ments were used after a certain prehistoric date, and that conse- 
quently all mounds in which flint implements are found are pre- 
historic, seems most uiirciLsniiable, to say the least of it. It would 
be sivrely far mori; philosophical to admit tluit Hint may have been 
used down to any time till we can liiid some reason for fixing a 
date for its discontinuance. In this in.stance an " instantia erncis" 
would be to dig into some of the circles at Brauvalla, and see if 
any flints are to be found there. Ko metal was found at Moytura, 
I though metal was, if history is to be depended upon, then com- 
monly used, and Hint implements were probably not found because 
those who opened the tombs were not aware of its importance. 
Pending this test, the form of the grave may give us some indica- 
tion of its age. It is on oblong barrow, with an external dolmen 
at one end, and with a row of ten stones on each side, the two end 
ones bemg taller than the rest. A similar mound, known as the 
Kennet long barrow, exists at Avebury,' so similar iudeetl that 
[if this tomb at Lethra is historical so certainly is the English 
I example. If, on the other hand, either can be proved to belong 

' ' PrimasTol Aiiti4uitie8 of Denmozk,' 

[ji. 113. 

* At ouc time I wag, on the authority 

! of a i?axuii cLurtur, iiicUueU to bulicve 
thut thiii tuimilim whb thu gruvu of Ci8si«, 
Siiiuiii kiu(j iif WincL<'«Ic'r, who wiis 

) Ct»itcin|inmry with Arthur. I am tiuw 
infuruiol liy thv Hev. Mr, Jgiies, who 
hfu) ctiru'rully gone into the iii:itU;r, thnt 
the Charter Mo. 1091, which is tokun 

from the ' Codex Winton.' fol. 54, rcfera 
to Ororlou in Iluntii, atul not to Overton 
iu Wilta, bLcaiim: TuJAuliftgu (Tiiilky)i8 
nicutioiio<i u:i p.irt of it. As I ciiunot 
di8]iutu lhi< iMiii)i.N.'li.'Ucy of at) uiuinoiit on 
authority on auch a question, its identi- 
fier) tion with tli6 loiuli of King Citmu luust 
for the jircicut bo withJmwu, but it by 
no mount I'ollowit iu consequ^mcu that it 
way not he of his agv. 



Chap. VII. 

to tlie long forgotten past, the other must also be consigned to the 
same misjitisfrtctory limbo. 

The burrow at "Wi'st Kctinct was cnrt'fully exjilored in 1859 by 
Dr. Thurnum, and the residts of his iuvesligutiuu fully (.letailed 
in a jitiper in the ' Archft'oloj^isi,' vol. xxxviii., from which the 
ftillowing pfirticnlars are abstrnoted, together with some others 
fi'oni a Sfconil pnjHT, "On Long Harrows," by the some author, in 
vol. xlii. of the stimo publication. 

Externally it is a mound naeasnring 336 feet in length by 75 
feet at its broadest part. Originally it was surrounded by what 
is called a peristalith of tall stouos, between which, it is saiJ, a 
walling of smuUer utones can still be detected. On its summit, as 
at Lethni, was an extenuil dolmen over the principal chamber of 
the tomb. 'J'bo chamber was nearly square in form, measuring 
8 feet by 9, and approijohod by a passage measuring 15 feet by 


IjOBg BarTow, Kmnet, rratoml b; Dr. Thnnum. ' ArcbeologU.' aUL 

3 leet G inches in width ; and its arnuigcnieut is in faet the same 
as that of the Jersey tumulus (woodcut No. 11), and, as Sir John 
Lubbock remarks^ "very closely resembles that of atumiJus" 
he had just been describing, of the Stono age, in the ishmd of 
Moen, *' and, in fact, the plan of passage graves generally."* 

When o{>ened, six original interments were found in the cham- 
ber, under a stratum of black, sooty, greasy matter, I! to 9 inches 
in thickncas, and which, Dr. Thurnum remarks, "couM never have 
betni disturbed since the original formation of the dcjMtsit" (p. 
413). Two of these had their skulls fractured during lifetime; 
the others were entire. To account for this, Dr. Thuraam takes 
considerable jMiius tu prove that slaves wore sumetinies sac^ri- 
ficed at the funeral of their masters, but he fails to find any 
instance in which they were killed l>y breaking their heads; and 

' Pfehwloric TimpB,' \i. 153. 

Chap, VII. 



if they were to serve their master in the next world, even a savage 
would be shrewd enough to know that cracking his skull was not 
the way to render him U9f?tul for service either in this world or 
the next. No such mude nf saeritice was ever udoptful, so far as I 
know.' But supjHising it whm ho. all the six burials in this tomb 
seem to have been nearly equnl^ and equally honouraljle, jind why, 
therefore, all their skulls were not broken in not clear. If on the 
other hand we assume tlmt it is the grave of six per8on.s who were 
slain in battle, two by blows on the head, and four by wounds in the 
body, this surely would be a 8imi)ler way of accounting for the facts 
observetl. Even, however, if we were to admit tliat these men 
with the broken heads were saeriflced, this wouM l»y no means 
prove the grave to be prehistoric. Quite the eontrary, for we 
know from the indisputable authority of a decree of Charlemagne 
that human saerttices were practised by the pagan Saxons as late, 
certainly, as TSO,'' and were suiHeieutly fretjUL-ut to eonstituto 
one of the fii-st crimes against wbieh he fuluiinatt-d his edicts. 
The fact is that neither historians nor antiquaries seem quite to 
realise the state nf utttr barbarism into which the greater part 
of Europe was plunged between the collapse of the lloman Empire 
and the revival of order under Charleqjjigne. Chri-stianity no 
doubt had taken rtxit in some favoured spots, and some bright 
lights shone out of the general darkness, but over tlie greater part 
of Eurofw pagan rites wore sliil practised to such an extent as 
easily to account for any heathen practice or any ancient form of 
sepidturo which may be found anywhere existing. 

To return, however, to our long barrow. Under a piece 
Sarsen stone, but on the sknll of one of the principal j)er- 
SODS interred hero (No. 4), were found two pieces of black 
{Kittery (fig. 8, page 415), whicdi Dr. Thurnuin admits may be 
of the lloman age. Other fragments of the sjune vessel were 
fovmd in other parts of the tomb, and also fragments of pottery 
(figs. 14 to 17), not British, but to which he hesitates to assign an 
age. Bo far as I can judge, it seems just such j>ottery as the less 
experienced British potters would form, on lloman models, after 

' Tlio nlnvi-g nfllic 8cytliiiiii kinga were 
BlrongK'd (HerfMlotiw, iv. 71 nuA 72). 

cavrrit el in liostisui more |iagnniirnin 
diE>inonihiu obtiilorit, nii:>rt<» morintiir." — 
Bahisitu, Ta/rf. Iteg. Franc, i. 253. 



cuAP. vn. 

the departure of that people. But this is immnterial ; for beyond 
tho fhamljer, and deei)er consequently into the tumulus, were 
found fragmentfl of undouLted Romiin pottery. So far, therefore, 
(^'entiling; ftivours the view that it was the sepulchre of persons 
slain in battle, after the departure of the Ilt»mans; for we can 
httrdly believe that a battle would be fought, and such a tomb 
raised over the slain, during their occupation; and if so, as the 
jiottery proves it cou!<l not be before, a choice of a date is fixe<l 
within very narrow limits. It may either have been in 450, 
immediately after the departure of the Romans, or in 520, the 
diite of the buttle of Cadon Hill, which is the time at which, I 
believe, it wajs reared. So far as the genend argument is con- 
cerned, it is of no consequence which dsite is chosen. Against 
this conclusion we have to place the following facts. First, no 
trfice of iron or bronze, or of metal of any sort, was found in the 
tomb. Secondly, at least 300 flint fragments were found in it. 
Some of these were mere chippings, some cones, but many were 
fairly funned flint implements (figs. 10 to 13),' not belonging to 
the oldest tj'pe, but such as antiquaries are in the habit of 
ascribing to the pre-metal Stone age. In addition to these, the 
quantity of coarse nativ^ pottery was very remarkable. No whole 
vessels were found, but broken fragments that would form fifty 
vessels were heaped in a comer; and there were corresixmding 
fragments in another comer. Dr. Thuruam tries to explain this 
by referring to the passage in the grave scene in ' Hamlet,' where 
our great dramatist speaks of "shiinls, flints, and pebbles," which 
should be thrown into the graves of suicides; the use of which, he 
adds, " in medifeval times may be a relic of pagjuiism." It does 
not, however, seem to occur to him that, if such a custom waai 
known in the sixteenth century, it woulil Iw likely to have been 
in full force in the sixth. It is strange enougli that such a custom, 
even if only referred to suicides, shordd have survived a thou- 
sand years of such revolutions and changes of religion as England 
was stibjectcd to in those days; but that it should b© known to 
Christians, after 3000 or 4000 years' tlisuse, seems hardly possible. 

• The wood-blocks of these and other 
illttslratinnB of Dr. Thumani'ii [mper yuctc 
lent to Sir John LiililxK-k. and umM 1>T 

him in his ' Prehistoric Tiin«,' No«, 146- 
15(J, wliorp Ihpy will l)o more lu-ctisaibla 
tn mutiy thiiu in tho • Axpha-ologin,' 

Chap. VII. 



No argument, it apfienrs to mo, can be drawn from the difiorent 
kinds of pottery foimd in the tomb. If any one will take the 
trutdde of digging up the kitchen midden of a villa built within 
the last ten yeai-p, in a previously uninhabited ejiot, he will pro- 
Iwbiy iind fragments of an exquisite piircclain vase which the 
bouKcmaid bnike in dusting the drawing-room chiumey-piece. 
He will eertainly find many fragments of the stoneware used in 
the dining-room, mid with them, probably, some of tlie oonrser 
war« use<l in the dairy, and mixed with these innumL-rable 
"shards" of the flower- pots used in the conservatory. According 
to the reasoning eustunmry among antiquaries, this midden must 
have been ueciunulating during 2000 or 3000 years at least, because 
it would have taken all that, or more, before the rude pottery 
of the flower-pots euuM liave been developed into the exquisite 
porcelain of the di'av\ing-ruom vase. The argument is, in fact, the 
same us that with re«i»ect to the flints. It may be taken for granted 
that uun used implements of bone and stone before they were 
acquainted witli Iln' use of metal; but what is dispute<l is that 
they ceasetl to use thim immediately after beeoniiiig fnniiliar 
with either bronze or iron. So with earthenware: men no doubt 
used coarse, badly formed, and badly burnt jwttery before they 
could mannfiicture better; but, even when they could do so, it is 
certain that they did not cease the employment of pottery of a 
very inferior chtss; and we have not done so to the present day. 
To take one instance among many. There are in the Aluseum 
of the Society of Antiquaries at Edinburgh a series of vessels, 
hand-made and badly burnt, and which might easily be mistaken 
— ami often are — for those found in preliisturic tombs. Yet they 
were made and used in the Shetland Islands in the last and even 
in the present century. 

The truth of the matter seems to be that, as in the case of a find 
of coins, it is the date of the last piece that fixes the time of the 
deposit. Tliere may be coins in it a hundred or a thousand years 
older, but this hoard cannot have been buried Ivfore the last j»icce 
which it contains was coinetl. So it is with this bjirrow. The 
presence of Roman or post-Iloman pottery in an avowedly undis- 
turbed sepulchre fixe?, beyond doubt, the age before which the 
skeletons could not have been depositeil where they were found 


by Dr. Thurnam. The preeenco of flints ond coarse pottery only 
shows, but it does so most convincingly, bow utterly groundless 
the data are on whinh anti(|Uiiii{;s have hitherto fixe<l the age of 
those monunieuts. It proves certainly tliiit flints tind shards were 
deposited in tombs in Romnn or post-Koinrtu times; »nd if there 
is no mistuke in Dr. Tliiirnuiu's data, this one excavation is, 
by itself, Buflifieiit to jirove that the Dttnish theory of the 
three ages is little Ix-tter than the "baseless fabric" of — if not 
" a vision " — at least of an illusion, which, unless Dr, Thurnam's 
facts can be explained away, has no solid foundation to rest upon. 
If any systematic excavations had \n-vn undertaken in the 
Scandluaviau long burrows, it would not, perhaps, be necessary to 

adduce English ex- 
amples to illustrate 
their age or pecu- 
liarities. Several are 
adduced by Sjoborg, 
but none are reported 
as opened. This one, 
for instance, is exter- 
nally like the long 
barrow at West Kennet, and, if Sjoborg'a information is to be 
depended upon, is one of several which mark the sjMit where 
Frode V. {4Cin-l!lil) landed in Sweden, where a battle was 
fought, and those who fell in it were Inirieil in these mounds, 
or where the Banta stones mark their graves. If this is so, 
the form of the long barrow with its peristalith w<w certainly 
not imknowii in the fifth centiiry ; and there is no imjiro- 
bability of its being employed in England jdso in that age. 
In settling these questions, however, the Scandinavians have 
an immense advantage over us. All their mounds have names 
and dates; they may be true or they may be false, but they 
give a starting-point and lui intcn^st to the enquiry which are 
wanting in this country, but which, it is hoped, will one day 
enable the Northmen to recojistnict their mouunieutal histoiy on 
a satisfaet-ory basis. 

In most cases antiquaries in this countrj- have been content to 
njipenl to the convenient fiction of secondary interments toaceoimt 

l.ijog BiirTow at WUkibiirail, In IUIUikU 
Krom a drawing by .'yi'bnri;. 

Chav. VU. 



for the perplexing coutraclictioiis in which their system every- 
where involves them. In the instance of the Kermet long barrow 
there is no excuse for such a sugf^estion. All tho interments 
were of one a<re, and thnt uiiiloulitt-dly the age of tlio chamber 
in which they wcrt^ found, and tlic {K»ttery and Hiutj^ could not 
hATC been there before nor introduced afterwards. Indeed. I do 
not know a sinj^le instance of an undoubtedly secondary inter- 
ment, unless it is in the ajrc nf Canon Grecnwell's really pre- 
historic tumuli. Wlii-n he pnliHsshes his rpsearchcs, we shall be 
in a condition to ascertain how far they Ix-ar nn iho theory.' 
In the chambered tumuli secondary intt-rments seeu^ never to 
occur; imd nothing is more uulikcly than that they should. A.s 
Dr. Thumam himself stjites: "In three instances at least Mr. 
Cmmington and Sir K. C. Hoare found in long barrows skeletonB 
which, from their extendfd position and the c hnrart<>r of the iron 
weapons accompanying them, were evidently Anglu-Saxon." •' A 
simple-minded man would consequently fancy that they were 
Anglo-Saxon graves, for what c^ui be more improbable than that 
the proud conqnermg Saxons would be conti'ut to bury their dead 
in the graves of tho hated luid despised Celts wlioin tliey were 
busy in exterminating.'' 

If the above reasoning is satisfactory and sufficient to prove 
that the long barnnv at West Kennet is of jwKt-Romaii times, it 
Kpplies also to Rodmarton, Uley, Stoiiey Littlrtnu, and all tlio 
Gloucestershire li»ng barrows which, for reasons above given (ante, 
page 1(54), we ventured to assign to a j)osj-lloman period ; and 

' An orRiinwut for secondary int<?r- 
lutrntft hnii Ik'i'd att(mi{)te<l lo Ive tbunt]c<l 
(Lubkoek, ' Prt-historic Tiineii,' p. Ifi^i) 
on nn etiict of Cliarlcuiaj^e, in which ho 
»ij»: — "JiibemUH lit corfmra (.'liristi- 
nnornm Soxonuni ad C'smptcrin pcclcsia; 
defernxitiir et mm nd tiitnuloB pngiino- 
nim (Biilu8iii8, 'Cap. lU'iJ. Fmuc' I, 
p. l.>l). If llie exprcstiion hul beon '* in 
tiimtiloB," there nii;i;ht Imve been aoiiii- 
thing in it; but a fair inference from the 
cdiit Bot'ins to me to l** thnt even in 
(.'hfirleitiagiK'fi lime cniivfrtHl S;ixoii« 
insiytoil <in Ix-ing buried -prnbiibly in 
timmli — ni-nr where llir (<iniba of llifir 

fatlivra wore, nnd probubly with pagiin 
ritta. Id apiU' of their nominul convi>r- 

' ' Archwologio,' xlii. p. 195. 

' Nothing would aurprise me Wa thnii 
the di9Cf>very of nn interiupiil in the tipjxT 
part of the burrow nt West Kennt.-t, be- 
tween tlio roof of tho chainlM'-r uiid )ht« 
dolmeu, Many indicotions in theW'iHt 
Country long borrows Knd ui< to expect 
that such laiglit lie the cniae. but il 
by no menna follows th»t it wouM be 
geroiidari'. On tlif coiitrnry, it would 
pmbobly he, if not the first, lit leiist IUb 
chief liiiriol in (he iiioiniil 




ii fortiori it carries with it King Ilildetand's tomb at Lethra. It 
is true we have not the same direct means of judging of its date 
as we have of our own monuments. The Danes treat with such 
aupremo contempt any monument that does not at once fall 
in with their system, that they will not even condescend to 
cx|jIore it. So soon as Worsaae found some " flint wed|;es " in 
the tomb, he at once decreed thnt it was prehistoric, and that it 
was no use searching farther; and we are cousef|Ucntly left to 
this fact and its external similarities for our identitinitioii. Here, 
again, is a ditliculty. The two drawings above given (woodcuts 
Nos. 101 and 1(12) may show them too much alike or cxiigjjerata 
difterenoes. Tlie one is an old drawing from nature, the other a 
modem restoration ; still the essential facts are undoubted. Both 
are chamliered long barrows, ornamented by rows of tall stones, 
either [mrtially t>r wholly surrounding their base, and Iwjth have 
oxteriial diiliiiens on their suniinit, and both contain flint imple- 
ments. If this is 80, the difficulty is rather to necoimt for so little 
change having taken place in 2o0 years than to feel any surprise 
at their not being iilentical. The point upon wliich we wish to 
insist here is that they are both ]Hwt-Iu>niau. an<l may conse- 
quently belong to any age between Arthur and Charlemagne. 

The remaining battle-fields of which representations are given 
in Sjoborg are scarcely so interesting as that at BraavaUa, which 
with the tomb nt' (he king slain there are landmarks in our 
enquiry. IT those circles on Uraavnlla Heatli do mark the battle- 
liehl, and that tomb at Lethra is the one in which the blind 
old king was laid— neither of which facta I see any reason for 
doubting — all dirticulties ba^si^d on the assumerl improbability of 
the monumen»~s being so modern as I am inclined to make them 
are removed, and each case must stand or fall acoordiiifr to the 
evidence that can be adduced for or agaiast its age. To return, 
however, to the battle- fields given by Sjoborg. Figures 4.3 and 44 
represent two groups of circles and l!auta stones near Ilwitiibv, 
in Malmo. These are said to mark two biittle-liflds, in which 
Kaguar Ijothbrok gained victories over his rebellious subjects in 
Scania : Sjolwjrg says in 750 and 702, as he adopts a chronology 
fiftv vc4ir« earlier than Siilun. I'.ut be (his as it niav, there does 

cuAP. vir. 

Loxn !5Ai;uows, 


not seem any reason lor doubtiufi; but that tlit'se stones do mark 
fields where battles were foutrht in the eijrlilh cetitury, and Ihnt 
Bagnar Lothbrok took part in ihi-ni. These groups are much 
less extensive than those at Braavalhi, but are so similar that they 
caunot be distant from them in as^e. 

At Stiklastad, in Norway, in the jiniviiin* vi' Diontlieim, a 
battle was fought, in 1030, betwet^n Kmit the (.Jivat and Olof the 
Holy; and close to this is a group of furty-fotir cireles of stones, 
which Sjoborg seems, but somewlml doubtfully, to connect wiih 
this battle. But about the next one (fig. 4l>) there seems no 
doubt. The Diuiish prince Jrnpuus Hcnrirk.'json killed Erik the 
IIolv, and was slain by Carl .SverkersHon, in tlie year llGl, at 
Uppland, in l>eumark ; and the place is marked by twenty stone 
circles and ovals, most of tliein enclosing mounds and two s^rpiaie 
enclosures, 30 to 40 feet in diameter. 'J'hey are not, consequently, 
in themselves very importiuit, but are interesting, if the adserip- 
tion is correct, as showing how this heathenish custom la.sted 
even after Christiauity must have lieen fairly "eslablishetl in the 
country. Another gronjr ^^hg. ."il) is said to mark the spot where, 
in 1150, a Swedish heroine, Dlenda, overcame the Danish king 
Swen Grate, and the spot is marked by circles and Bauta stones ; 
one, in front of a tumnlns, bears a Knnic inscription, though it 
merely says that Dedrik mid Tunne raised the stone to Kumar 
the Good. 

Only one other group need be tmntioued here. On a spot of 
land, in tlie island of Freyrsti, oil' the entrance of the Drontheim 
Fiord, in the year ODB, Hakon, the sou of Ilarald Harfngar, 
overthrew his nephews, the sons of Erik IHodoxe, in three 
battles. The first «md second of these, as shown in the plan 
(woodcut No. 104), are marked by cairns and mounds; and the 
third by eight large barrows, three of which are of that shape 
known in Scjaidinavia as ship bannwy, and measure from 100 to 
140 feet in length. There are three tumuli nl 4 in the 
woodcut, in one of which one of I'h'ik Hlodoxe's sous is siad to 
be buried. It is not clear whetlier the live la.rge mounds that 
stud the plain do not cover the remains of those also who fell 
in this fight. It does not appear that any excavations have been 
made in them. The interest of this battle-field to us is not bo 

D 2 



Chap. VII. 

much becAiise it shows tlie persistence of ttia plan of marking 
battle-fields at so late a date — later ones have just Ijeen quoted 
— but because all the netora in the scene are familiar to us from 
the pait they took in the trausuctions in the Orkneys in the 
tenth century. 11' they, in their own coimtry, adhered to these 
old-world practices, we should not be astonished ut their having 
erected circles or buried in mounds in their new possessions. It 

""^ _ »~"i~ 

%. ^ 


104. BtUlc-ISdil at Frcj-nw. Fruni f!|r.boij. vol. 1. pL U. 

is true that none of these Scandinavian circles CJin compare in 
extent ivith the Standing Stones of Stennia or the Ring of 
Brogar, but this wouhl not l>e the first time that such a thing 
ha.s hufijicned. The Greeks erected larp'T and. in pnijiortion to 
tlie piipuliitiun, more numerous Doric tempk-s in Sicily than they 
possessed in their own countn,"; and the Northmen may have 
done the same thing in Orcadia, where they possessed n conquered, 
probably an enslaved, race to execute there works. 

Ctur. VII. 




The numl)er of sepulchral mounds in fcjcandinavia is very great, 
and some of them are veiy important ; but, so fifir as I can ascer- 
tain, very few have been explored, and, until interrogated by the 
spade, nothing vnn well be less comnmnicativo than a simjile 
mound of earth. A map of their distributiuu might, no doubt, 
throw considerable light on the ethnography of the country, iind 
tell us whether the Finns or Ijupps were their original authors, 
or whether the Slaves or Weuds were their introducers; and, 
lastly, whether the true Scandinavians brought them with them 
from other Lmds, or merely adopted them from the original 
inhabitants, in whieh ease th^-y cuu only l>e treated as survivals. 
Funereal pouip, nr tomb-building uf imy sort, is so antagonistic 
to the habits of any people so essentially Teutonic as the Scandi- 
navians were and are, that we cannot understand their adopting 
these forms, or indeed stone circles or monuments of any class, 
in a couutry whure they had not previously existed. If we 

Bume that the modem Scandinavians were German tribes who 
conquered the country from the Cimbri or the earlier Lappa 
and Finns, and did so as warriors, liringing no women with them, 
the ease is iutelligiblo enough. Under these eireumstauces, they 
must have intermarried with the natives of the country, and 
would eventually, after a few generations, lose much of tlieir 
individual nationality, and adopt many of the customs of the 
peoi)le among whom they settled, using them only in a more 
vigorous manner and on a larger scale than their more puny 
predecessors had been aide to adopt.' It is most Improbable that 
the " Northmen," if Germans — as indeed their language proves 
them to bo — should ever have invented such thijigs as tumuli, 
dolmens, circles, or iuiy other such un-Aryan form.s, in any 

' I tioVB tried hanl to follow Woranue'a 
imeut iu r>'8pi>ot to thiM point ('Ziir 
fL1l«rtbiiiiiHkuDile JtsNonlcns,' 1S47 ), hut 
witliniit sacvcsa. A« he ia iicraoually 
farailinr with the country and its innnu- 
moiilx, he mny Ik? perfectly corrt-ct in 
whiit hi; ktntos. hut iM there nre ricithiT 

maps uor Ulugtrntiong to this part of the 
work, it in almost iiu].H>!<i»ilili.' for u !)tmii)^<r 
tij jud^o ; find iw, likt' ull Dnrio.4, he it a 
devout l>elic'vcr in tho thro'-iigf- Hjstem, 
it in iliilicult In kunw how far lliib may 
f'r iii«y n<it influi-uoe In.'' view 



fuuiiti y \vlit'rL' tlit-y had not existed previously to iLeir occupy- 
ing it; liiit tlint Hfi immigrants they should adopt the customs 
of the pri'vious ocL-upants of the limd is «jnly wliiit we tind 
liiippeniiig everywhere. The settlement of poiut8 will be 
extremely interesting for the ethnography of Northern Europe, 
tiiid ouglit not to lie difficult whenever the problem is iairly 
ynippleil with, In tlu' mcarnvhile, all that the information at 
present iivailable will enuble us to do here is to refer to some 
tumuli whoHC contents bear more or less directly on the argu- 
ment which is the principal object of this work. 

'J'he lirst of these is the triple group at Upsalu, no\v poj>u- 
larly known as the graves of Thor, Wndin, and Freya. It may 
illustrate the dilficuUy of obtaining correct information regarding 
these mounments to state that, even so late as 1869, Sir John 
LublKiek, who is generally so well informed, and had such 
means of obtaining information, did not know that they had been 
tipeneiL' I was aware of a passage in llarryatt's travels in Sweden 
in which, writing on the spot, he asserts that one of them had 
Iweu oi>ened, and that "in its 'giant's chamber' were found the 
bones of a woman, and, among other things, a piece of a gold 
iilagree bracelet, richly ornamented in spinil decoration, some 
dice, and a ehessmnn, either the king or a knight."' Wishing, 
however, for further information, I obtained an introduction to 
Mr. Hans Ilildebrand, who gave me the following information. 
Subsequently I received a letter from Professor Carl Save, of 
Fpsala, who kiiHlh"Hj>straeted for me the only published accounts 
of the I'xcavatinns as they appcijred in a local paper at the time. 
These were forwarded to me by I'rofessor Geo. Stephens, of 
ColK>nhagen, who also was so (jbliging as to translate them. 
They are so int>Tt^sting that I lunf printed tlieui, as tliey stand, 
ns Appendix l'>. From these two documents the follnwing account 
is compiled, aixl may Ix' tliuniughly dependt'd nyim. 

One of the mounds, known as that of \\ odin, was opened, in 
IS-IO, under the superintendence of Herr Hildebrand, the royal 
antiquary of Sweden. It was soon f»»und that the mounds were 
situated on a ridge of gravel, so that the tunnnl had to take 

I'ri liifctnric 'J'imcg,' p. 107. 

' 'One Yc«r in Sweden,* ii. p. Itt3. 

C'llAP. VII. 



an upward directiuu. At the junction of the natural with tho 
artificial soil, a cairu was tbiiiul of closely compacted stones, 
each about us large as a man could lift. In the centre of the 
cairn the burial urn was found in the grave-chamb>er, containing 
calcined bones, ashes, fragmeuts of bronze oruaments destroyed 
by fire, and a fragment of a gold ornament delicately wrought. 
^Vitbin tho cairn, but a little away from the uru, were found a 
heap of dugs' bones, equally calcined by firt*, and fragiiienta 
of two golden braoteates. "The workmanship of the gold orna- 
ments," Herr Hildebrand adds, " closely resembles that of the gold 
bracteates of the fiftli or sixth centurie;*, and, with the fragments 
of these peculiar ornaments themselves, settles u date before 
which these mnunds could not have been raised." How much later 
they may be, it is not easy to conjecture, without at least seeing 
the bracteates, which do not seem to have beeu jmblished. W ith 
a Little local industry, I have very little doubt, not only that 
the date of these tombs cx>uld be ascertained, but the names of 
the royal personages who were therein buried, probably in the 
sixth or seventh century of our era. 

"The tombs of ( V-iitral Sweden," Herr Hildebrand adds, "are 
generally constructed in the same way, the uru containing the 
bones b;?ing placed on the surface of tho soil, at the place of 
cremation or elsewhere, as the case may be. tJenerally, nothing 
is found with them but an iron nail, or some such trilling 
object " — a curious and economical reminiscence of the extra- 
vagant customs of llieir predecess«jrs. .\ccording to him, "almost 
every village in Swi-deu, with the exception of those in .some 
moimtaiu-;li8tricts and the most northcni i)rovince8, has a totnb- 
tield quite close to the side of the houses. The antiquities found 
in the moimds of these toml)-tickls all belong to the Iron age. 
The tombs of the earlier ages have no connection with the home- 
steads of the present people." 

How far these tombs extend downwards in date cannot lie 
ascertained without a much more careful cxamiuntion than they 
have yet been subjected to. it may safely, however, be assmned 
that they continued to be used till the conversion of the inha- 
bitants to Christianity, and prob-ildy even for some considerable 
time afterwards, for such a custom is not easily eradicated. 



Chap. VIT. 




It uyiild \m as tediuus as miprofitaljle to attempt to ennme- 
rate the various iiuuindH which buve bfeii opened, for their 
contents throw little or no light on our enquiry; tiiid being 
distrilnited in cases iu the museum, not according to their 
locidities ot traditions, but according to their systematic closseSfj 
it is almost impossible to restore them now to their places in 

At JellLnge, however, on the east coast of Jutland, there ore 
two mounds, alw^ays known traditiouiilly as those of (Jonw the 
Old and his queen Thyra DaiielH)d — the Beloved. The date of 

(Jiirra's death seems now to be 
accepted as 950 A.D. ;^ but it is 
not clear whether he erected the 
tomb himself, or whether it is 
due to the filiiiJ piety of his son 
Hiirald Blautand, or Blue-Tooth, 
and in whieli ease its date would 
be 90S.''' 8uxo Grammaticus at 
least tells u.s that he buried hitf 
mother in the tumulus, and then 
set a whole army of men and oxen 
at work to remove from the Jut- 
hunl shore an immense stone — 
a little rock — and bring it to 
the pliice where his mother lay 
inhimied.* That stone still exists, and has sculptured on one 
side a dragon, which calls forcibly to our mind that found on 
Mae,s-llowe. (wooilcut No. ^5), and on the other side a figure, 
which is, no doubt, iuttmdod to represent Clirist on the cross. 
On the two sidoH are Kmiic inscriptions, in which he records 
his nfiedion for liis father and mother and his conversion to the 
Christitui fuith. 

So far as I can ascertain, the tomb of King CJorm has not 
yet been opened. That of Thyra was explored many years ago 
— in 1820 apparently; but no sections or details have l»een 



106. TinigMi I'll King (iurma Stani?, .rrllmKv. 
Krocn 'An. Nurd. UUlkund.' xU. Miil. 

' Rngi'Ihnnlt, 'Oktuloftue Ulu*.' p. 33. 
Siilim mnkrg it 001, hut this seeinf more 
|ini)inlilv tn liiivr hi'i'n lli>' iliil>< ol' tliP 

dcftth of lii« mn llAtM llltmtAnd. 
* • AnniilPti for Nordk. Olilk.' sii. p. 13, 
' 'llii.f dnnicn,' x. \>. lliT. 

Chap. VII. 



published, so that it is extremely difficult to ascertain even the 
dimensions. Engelhardt reiwrta the height as 43 feet, and 
the diameter as 240 feet ; * Worsaae gives the height as 75 feet, 
and tlie diameter as 180 feet, and he is probably correct.' But 
in Denmark anything that camiot be put into a glass in a 
museum is bo completely rejected as valueb sa that uo one cares 
to record it. ^\^len entered, it was found that it had been 
plundered probably in the mi<]dlo ages, and all that remaim-d 
were the fullowLng articles: — A small ailvL-r goLlft, lined with 
gold on the inside, and ornamented with interlaced dragons nu 
the exterior ; some fibula?, tortuise-shaped, and ornamented w ith 
fantastic heads of animals ; some buckle-heads, and other object* 
of no great value. The chamber in which these objects were 
found mcAsured 23 feet in length by 8 feet 3 inches in width, 
and was 5 feet high ; ^ the walk and roof, formed of massive shibs 
of oak, were originally, it appears, hung with tapestries, but these 
had nearly all perished. 

Not only are these monuments of Gorm and Thyra interesting 
in themselves, and deservinfr of nuieh more attention than the Danes 
have hitherto bestowed upon them, but they are important 
in their bearing on the general history of mouuments of this class. 
In the first place, their date and destination are fixed beyond 
dispute, and this Ix'iiig so, the only grnun<l is taken awuy on 
which any a jiriori argument could Ik? based with regard to the 
uge of any mouml anterior to the tenth century. As soon as it is 
realised that sepulchral mounds have been erected in the tenth 
century, it is impossible to argue that it is unlikely or improbable 
that Silbury Hill or any other mound in England may not belong 
to the sixth or any subsequent century down to that time. The 
argument is, however, even more pertinent with reference to 
Macs-Howe and other tumuli in the Orkneys. If the Scandi- 
navian kings were buried in " howes" down to the year lOOO — I 
Iwlieve they extend much beyond that date — it is almost certain 
that the Orcadian JarlH were interred in similar moimds down 
at least to their conversion to Christianity (a.d. 9S6). AVhether 

' 'Guide ill.' p. 33. > 'Prirawvnl Ant. Denmark.' p. 101, 

» En«clhtirtlt. ' Cut. ill. rlti Sliistr,* p. M. 



Chap. VII. 

Mat'sliovvc was erected as a sepulukre for the aous of Rugnur 
Lothbrok, as .lohn Stuart seems to infer from the inscriptions,' or 
of Havjird Earl, as I have above attempted to show, is of little conse- 
t[iK'nce to the {general argument. That it was the grave of a Senndi- 
navinn Jarl, erected l>ct\veon SUO and lUOO A.D., seems quite certain, 
and my own impression is that it is almost as certainly the tomb 
of the individual Jarl to whom I have ventured to ascribe it. 

As Itefore nieutionwi. no argument against these views can be 
drawn from the fact that Thyra's tomb is lined with slabfi of oak, 
while the chamlter at IVIaes-Howe is formed with stone. The dif- 
ference of the two localities is sutRciont to account for this. 
Denmark has always l>een famous ftir its fore^sts, and especially on 
the shores of the Baltic, at Jellinge, wood of the noblest dimen- 
sions wiiH always available, whereas the stone of the country was 
hard and intractable. In the Orkneys, on the oth<'r hand, there 
is absolutely no timljer of natural growth big enough to afford 
a good-sized walking-stick, and stone is not only everywhere 
abundant, but splits easily into slabs, self-faced, and most easily 
worked, so that stone, imd fitoiie onlv, would be the material 
eui])li>yed in the: Orkneys for that purpose, as wood wouhi also by 
the best and most available material in Denmark. 

If, before leaving this branch of the subject, we turn buck for 
a few minutes to the Irish monuments, we are now in a position 
to judge more eorre<'tly of tlie probabilities oi tin.- than we 
>\ere. Assuming the three-ehambered tumulus at New Unmge to 
havelieen erected l>etvvecn the years 200 and 400, and 3Iaes-Howe 
and Jellinge l»et\veen 800 and lOUO A.D., we have a period of from 
five to six, it may possibly be seven, centuries l)et\ve.en monu- 
ments. Is this more than is sufficient to account for the difference 
between them, or is it too little? It is not easy to give a cate- 
gorical answer to such a ijue.Ntion, but judging from the exjterienee 
gained from other styles, hi different parts of the world, the con- 
clusion generally would be that the time is in excess of what is 
required. That there was progress, considerable progress indeed, 
made in the interval between the Irish and feJcandinaAion monu- , 

" »Pr«»«^ingB fci<x\ Ant. Sccit." v. 
p. 266. If Uiifninr wm taken priitoner 
by Ella of Northumberland, it itiuist 

liBve beon in tlip livlti-r Imlfof llio uiutli 
century. Siditn plaoos liiti Jonth ni-arly 
a century earlior, 7'M. , 

Chap. VII. 



menta, cauuot he dLMiied, but tliut it slioulJ Luve required livo 
centuries t« achieve this advixnce is hardly wlmt would be 
expected, and it would be diffioult to quote auother example of 
u progress so slow. Yet it if* hardly possible to bring down New 
Grange to the ixge of 8t. Patrick (.a.d. 436), niid us diflicult to 
carry back Maes-Howe beyond Itagiiar LotUbrok (794 at the 
extreme), and l>etween these dates there are only 358 years ; but 
we must certninly add soinethin2; iit either one end or the other; 
and if we do this, we nbtuiti an iimuuut of progress so slow that it 
would lie almost unaccountable, but upon the assumption that they 
are the works of two different peoples. At the time the sepulchre 
on the Boyne was erected, Ireland was energetically and rapidly 
progressive, and her arts were more flomishiug tluui might have 
been expected from her then state of civilization. AVhen Mueu- 
howe was erected, the native jiopiihxtion was poor and perishing, 
and as the lordly Vikings wouhl hardly condescend to act as masons 
themselves, they did the best they could with the means at their 
disposal. Explain it, however, as we may, it seems impossilde to 
allow a longer time between the nmiinds at Jelliuge and .Steiints and 
tho^e on the Boyne than has Iteeu accorded above; and as it seems 
p(piully difficult to bring them nearer to one another, the proba- 
bility seems to be in favour of the dates already assigned to them. 
To return, however, from this digression ; besides those just mcn- 
tioued, Denmark posse.sses a nearly complete series i)f roj-al tombs 
such as are not to be found in any other country of Europe. Even 
Worsjiae acknowledg«:'8 the existence of that of Fro<le Frodegode, 
who lived about the Christian era, of Amlech, near Wexio — 
Shakespeare's Handet, of Humble, an<l Ujarne,' besides those of 
Uildetand, and (jorm an<l Thyra, already mentioned. If the 
Danes woiUd only uud»rtake a systematic examination of these 
royal sepulchres, it might settle many of the disputed points of 
medijeval arclutology. To explore toudis to which no tradition 
attaches may add to the treasures of their museums, but can only 
by acciflenl elucidate either the history of the coimtry or the 
progress of its arts. If ten or twelve tombs witli known names 
attached to them were opened, one of two thintfs must happen : 

' ' Prima'vul Ant, ot Denmark,' p. 1 1:*, 


either they will show u succession aud a progress relative to the 
age of their reputed occupants, or no such sequence will bo 
traceable. lu the first case tlie gain to history mvd n reha^olojry 
would be enormous, and it i-* an opportunity of settling di-^puted 
questious such as no other couutry affords. If, on the other hand, 
no such connection can be traced, there is an end of much of the 
fonndatiiins on which the reasoning of (lie prcAious pages is based, 
but in either case such an enquiry could nut tail to throw a flood of 
light on the subject which we were trying to elucidate. The fear 
is that all have been rifled. The Northmen certainly spared non^i 
of the tombs in the coimtries they conquered, and our experiPDcej 
of i^aes-IIowe and Thyra's tomb would lead us to foar that after < 
their conversion to Christianity they were as liltle inclined to 
spare those of their own ancestors. All they however CAre<l fur 
were the objects composed of precious metals; so enough may still 
be left for the less avaricious wunts of the antiquary. 


So far as is at present known, there are not any tumuli uf 
importanco or any battle-fields marked with great stones in the 
north of (jermiiny ; but the dulnien.s there are both numerous and 
interesting, aud belong to all the classes found in »Scaiidinavia, and, 
80 far as can be ascertained, are nearly identical in form. Nothing, 
however, would surprise me less than if it should turn out that 
both I (arrows imd Eauta stones were common there, especially in 
the i.sland of Hiigen luul iJnug the shores of the Baltic as far east 
a.s Livonia. The Germans have not yet lurued their attention to 
this class of their nntiquities. They have been too busy subli- 
mating their national heroes into gods to think of stones that 
tell no tales. Whenever they do set to work upon them, they 
will, no doubt, do it with that thoroughness which is characteristic 
of all they attempt. But as the investigation will probably have 
to pass through the solar mytli stage of jihilosophy, It may yet 
be a long timel)efore their history reaches the regions of jiracticjd 
common sense. 

No detailed maps having bet-n published, it is extremely diffi- 
cult to feel sure of the distribution of monuments in any 

CnAP. V]I. 



part of the noitlicrji ilolmfn rogioii ; but tlifi follmving, which is 
alwtractefl from Bonstptttn's ' Essai sur lea Dolmens.' may convey 
some general information on the subject, especially when com- 
bined with the maj) (p. 27;")), whifh in taken, with very slight 
moditlaitioQS, from that which uccumpiinietl his work. 

Accortling to Bonstetten there are no dolmens in Poland, nor in 
Posen. They first appear on the Pregel, near Konigsljerg ; but 
are very rare in Prussia, only two others being known. one at ]\Iarien- 
werder, the other at Konitz. In Silesia there is one at Khnn- 
Raden, near Oppeln ; another is found in the district of Liegnitz, 
and they are very numerous in the Uekermark, Altmark, in iVnhalt, 
and Prussian Saxony, as well as in Pomorania and the island of 
lliigen. They are still more numerous in Mecklenburg, which is 
described as peculiarly rich in monuments of this class. Hanover 
possesses numerous dtilmen*, except in the aouth-eastem districts, 
such as Gottingen, Olierharz, find Hildesheim, To make up f>'r 
this, however, in the nnrtliern districts, Liinelinrg, Osnabriick, 
and Stade, at least two hundred are found. The grand-duchy of 
Oldenburg contains some of the largest dolmens in Germany; one 
of these, near Wildesheim, is 23 feet long; another, near Engel- 
manns-Becke, is surrounded by an enclosure of stones measuring 
37 feet by 23, each stone being 10 feet in height, while the cap 
stone of a third is 2 > feet by 10. In Brunswick there were several 
near Helrastiidt, but they are now destroyed. In Saxony some rare 
examples are fomid as far south as the Erzgebirge, and two were 
recently destroyed in the environs of Dresden. Keeping along the 
northern line, we find them in the three northern provinces of 
Holland, Grunbgen, Ober-Yssel, uud especially in Drenthe, where 
they exist in great numlx^rs, but none to the southward of these 
provinces, and nowhere do they seem to touch the Khine or its 
bordering lands; but a few are found in the grand-duchy of 
Luxembourg as in a sort of oasis, halfway between the southern 
or French dolmen region and that of northern Germany. 

From the North Gorman districts they extend through Holstein 
and Schleswig into Jutland and the Danish isles, but are most 
numerous on the eastern or Baltic Ride f>f the Cimbrian peninsula, 
and they ai'e also very frequent in the south of Sweden and the 
udjacent islands. Dolmens pniperly sf» cidled are not known in 



Chap. VII. 

Norway, but, as above inLnitioued, caime and monuments of that 
class, uri? not wanting thorn. 

The value of this distrilnUion wilt l>e more easily appreciated 
when we have ascertaiued the limits of the French field, but 
meanwhile it may Ix; convenient to remark that, unless the dolmens 
can be traced very mutfh further eastward, there is a tremendous 
gulf before we reach the nearest outlyers of the eastern dolmen 
field. There is a smaller, but very distbiet, gup in the eounlry 
occupied by the Bolgse, between it and the French field, and 
another, but practically very much smaller one, l>etween it and 
the liritiiih isiles. 'J'his is a gap because tlie ii»tervenin<; spa<'0 is 
occupied by the sea; but as it is evident i'mui the distribution of 
all the northern dolmens in the proximity to the shores and in the 
islands that the peojile nho erected them were a seafarinij people, 
and as we know that they possessed vessels capable of navigating; 
theso sens, it is practically no gap at all. W'f know historic-ally 
how many Jutes, Angles, Frisian,s, aiul jieople of similar origin. 
under the generic name t>f Saxons, flnekeil to our shores in the 
e^rly centuries of the Christian era, and afterwards what an 
important pai't the Danes and Northnjen pbiyed in our hist^iry, 
and what numbers of them landed and settled in Great Britain, 
either as coloni.^ts or conquerors, at difterent epochs, down to at 
least the eleventh century. If, therefore, we admit the dolmens 
to be historic, or, in other wdrds, that the erectiim of megalithic 
monuments was practised during the first ten centuries after the 
Christian <'ra, we have no difficulty in understanding where our 
examples came from, or to whom they arc due. If, on the other 
hand, we assume that they arc prehistoric, we are entirely at sea 
regarding them or their connection with those on the continent. 
The only continental peojule we know of who settled in Britain 
before the Itoman times were the Belga-, and they arc the only 
people between the Pillars of Hercules and the Gxilf of Riga who, 
having a sea-board, have also no dolmens or megalithic remains 
of any sort. All the others have them more or less, but the 
Northern nations did not, so far as we know, colonise this 
country l^fore the Christian era. 

A.s all the Northern antii[uaries have made up their minds 

Chap. Vlt. 



that these dolmeus generally Lt'ion;; to tLe mythic periofl of 
the Stone age, and thiit only a few of them extend down to the 
senu-historio age of bronze, it is in vain to expect that they 
would gathiT any traditii>M.s or recunl any names that might 
C4>niiect tiiem with [lersons knowTi in history. Wo tu"e, therefore, 
wholly without assistance from history or tradition U^ guide ua 
either in cla-sj^ifying them or in any attempt to ascertuiii their 
age, while the iiulirationa which eualile us to connwt them with 
our own, or with onu nuolhi'^r, are few auil far between. 

Among the few that give any Bure indications of their age, 
one of the most interesting is at llcrrestrup, in Zeeland, which 
has recently been ilisiiitorred from the tumulus that once covere^l 


IiUtui'D nl UtTrralrap. 

it.' On it are engraved some half-dozen representations of 
ships, such as the Vikings were in the habit of drawing, and 
which are found in great quantities on the west const of Gotten- 
burg.' According to the best authorities, these representations 
range from about a.d. 500 to 900,^ and some may periiaps be more 
modern. Those in this dolmen do not appear to l>e either 
among the most anoieut or the most modern, and if we fix on the 
eighth century as their date, we shall not be very far wrong. 
That they are also coeval witli the monument seems perfectly 

' * Annalen for Xord. Aldk.' tL pi. x. 

' HolmlitT};, 'Si'ttndinavien Hallriatingor,' p. 3. 

• Ih'it. p. 21. 'S)e. ilea Ant. ilu Nnrd,' ii. pp. 140 cl 'r-^Y- 



CiiAr. VH. 

certain. AVe cronnot fancy any Viking oiigraving these on a 
deserted dolmen, say even 100 years old, and then covering it up 
with a tuiiHilus, as this one was till recently. Had it never been 
covered uii, any hypothesis might be proposed, but the mound 
settles that ixiiut. Besides the ships, however, there are an almost 
equal uumbi-r of eiuall circles with crosses in them, on the cap 
stone. \\ hi^ther these are intended to represent chariot-wheels, 
or some other object, is not clear, but if we tairn back to woodcut 
No. 41, representing the side-stone of the dolmen at Aspatria, we 
find the identical object represented there, and in such a manner 
that, making allowance for the diBerence of stylo in the century 
that has elapsed between the execution of the two engravings, 
they must lie assumed to be identical. Xo engravings — so far as 1 
know — have been published of the objects found in this Banish 
dolmen, but in the English one, as already mentioned, the objects 
found belonged to the most nuHlern Iron age; such things, in fact, 
as will jM^rfectly agree with the date of the eighth century. 
Among them, as will l>e recollected, was the snaffle-bit, so like, 
though certainly more mrMlem than, Stukeley's bit found in 
Silbury Hill. We have thus three timiuli which from their 
engravings or their contents confirm one another to a most satis- 
factorj' extent, and render the dates above assigned to them, t^ 
say the least of it, very probable. If the date thus obtained for 
the Aspatxia monument is accepted, it is further interesting as 
giving that of those mysterious concentric circles, with a line 
passing tliroiigli them from the centre, which liave been found 
in Kuch numbers on the rotdis in the norlh of England fuid in 
Seothuul.' These arc, so far as I know, the only examples of 
these cirt'les which were buried, and were consequently associate*! 
with other olyccts which assist in fixing their age. 

As l*fore hitite*!, many of the monuments engnjved by Modsen ' 
are so extremely like those in the field of Northern Moytura that 
it is almost impossilde to believe tliat they were erected by a 
different race of people, or at any great distance of time. The 
one, for uistance, at Hjdskov is so like the dolmen and circle 

■ Sir Janio» Bimi'Bon, nppciidix, vol. ri. ' Vtoe. Snc. Ant. uf Scotland,' fnuMrm. 
» MaiUi'ii, • .\uliriiiitiB pivh »tori(iiu-8 dii Ilunctuark.' 18<;0. 

C'HAr. VI r. 



represeuted in woodcut No. 01 tliat the one miglit almost pass for 
the other, were it not that the photograph is taken from the wrong 
side, to bring out the resemhhmce, aa it is seen on the spot, while 
in others the resemblance is as great, or even greater. It is very 
unsatisfactory, however, picking these points of gimilarity from 
books, some of the engravings in which are from iiuporfect 
drawings. In others, artistic effect has been more aimed at than 
truth, antl some are taken from photogrnplis, which, though they 
give a truthful, gciicndly give an nuiiitelligcnt representation of 
the object. It is only by personal familiarity that all the facts 







UvUucii ul ILUskuv. Itoui * ilruHin^ L'; MikIko. 

can be verified and pitfidls avoided. But it is always useful 
to turn attention to any forms that may seem novel, and explain 
peculiarities in others whifh but fur such means of comparison 
would remain unnoticed. Here, for instance, is one fVom Sjoborg, 
which resembles the Countless Stones at Aylcsford, as drawn by 
Dr. Stukeley (woodcut No. 27). It is found at a place called 
Oroust, in Bohuslan,^ and stands on a low mound encircled by 
twenty large stones at its base. The chamber is low, and semi- 
circidar in form, and in front of it stands what the Germans call 
a sentinel stone. No date is given to this monument by Sjdborg, 
for he was so far indoctrinated in modern theories that he 

' ' Samlingar,' i. pi. iii. fig. C, 



Ijelieved all dolmens to be prehistoric, though ull the circles and 
DautA stones marking battle-fiokls were to him as essentially 
historic as any monuments in his country. From its appeuranc 
the dolmen at Oroust may be of the same age as the Countless 

les. IMDii'tt al Orottst. rnm BftSttBrf, 

Stones at Aylesford, and if other monuments in the two cotintrie 
could be compared with anything like precision, their forms and^ 
traditions might mutually throw great Hght on their real histories. 
It is not only, hijwever, from tlip analogies with similar monu- 
ments in this country, or from their bearing on their history, that 
the h'caudinaviim dolmens are interesting to us. They have forms 
and peculiarities of their own which are well worth studying. 
If materials existed for mastering these differences, their aggre- 
gate would make up a sum which would enable us to separate 
the Scandiuaviiui group from the British, as we can our o«ti from I 
the French, and the French from that of Northern Germany. A 
great deal more must, however, be published, and in a more accu- 
rate form, before this can bo done; but, whenever it is possible, 
it promises to afford most satisfactory results to ethnographical 
science. The problem is similar to that which was known to 
exist in reference to pointed Gothic architechire. That is now 
admitted to be a Celtic-Preneh invention, but it Avaa adopted by 
the Spaniards and Italians on the one hand, and by the Germans 
and ourselves on the other; although always with a difference. 
No antiqunrj' would now for an instant hesitate in discriminating 
between an Itiilian and a German or between a Spanish and an 
English example, though the difference is so small that it can 
hardly be expressed in words, and must he carefully represented 
in order to be ix'iceived. In like maimer, the rudc-stonO stylo 

Chap. VII. 



of art secius to huve been invented by some pre-Celtic people, 
but to have been adopted by Celts, by Scandinavian, by British, 
and Iberian races — perhaps n<jt always pure in their own countries, 
but ulways with eonsiderable diflerc'ncos, which, Avhen perceived 
and chissiried, will enable us to diBtiugiiish between tlie works of 
the several races as clearly as we can between the media' val fityles 
that superseded them. 

Among these peculiarities, the most easily recognised are the 
square or oblong enclosures which surround tumuli, and, some- 
times, one, at others two, or even three free-standing dolmens. 
In order to make the point clear, I have quoted a diagram from 
iSjoborg, though it i.s almost the only instance in this work in 

yw, Wngnm tiom SJ.~>U>rf-, pi. I. tig. A. 

! which a woodcut does not represent a really existing object. I 
have no doubt, however, that it i.s correct, as old Olaus Wormius 
represents one of two similar ones which in his day existed near 
Roeskilde. Both had enclosures 50 paces square, enclosing one 
tumulus with a circle of st^jnes round its base, another halfway up, 
and, the text says, an altar-dolmen on the top, though the woodcut 
does not show it. The other, on the rt>ad to Birck, in Zeehiud, 
enclosed three tumuli in juxtaposition, the one in the centre similar 

I to that just described, and with a dolmen on its sunomit; two 
smaller moimds are represented in juxtaposition on either side 
but with only a circle of stones round their base.^ Other varieties 

Olttiia Womiiuit, 'Danica Matiiiiiiuiita,' pp. 8 aixl :io. 

X 2 




no doubt exist, but modem tiufiquariea hnvo not favoure<l us with 
any drawings of them. From the diagram luid description it will 
be perceived that in so far as the raound itself i» concerned these 
Danish tnrauli aro idontieal with those ah-endy quotetl as existing 
in Auvergne (woodeut Nu. S), but so far as I knuw, the square enclo- 
sure does not exist in France, nor does it in tliia country. These 
square enclosures seem, however, to bi-long to a very modem dat*, 
and the stones, consequently, are small. <uid may therefore have 
been removed, which could easily be done; but still there seems 
little doubt that many of them may still remain, and could be 
found if Itwked for. 

One of tho most striking exanrples I know of, un oblong 
rectangular enclosure, enclosing a single fnpe-atandiag dolmen, is 
that near Ltineburg, figured by Bonstetten^ (woodcut No. 110); he 


110. Dolmen nrtr LUncburg. From BuiihU'tt'-n. 

seldom, however, indulges in dimensions, and being perfectly 
convinced that all are prehistoric, he never speculates as to dates, 
nor condeseeuds to notite traditions. What we know of it is 
therefore confined to the representation, whiih after idl may be 
taken from some other work, as he rarely favours us with refer- 
ences. Two others are represented by von Estorft' us existing near 
Uelzeu, in Htuiovcr,* 

A good example of two dolinons in a rectangular enclosure is 
that at Valdbygaards, near Soroe, in Zeeland. Here the enclo- 
sure is about 70 feet in one direction by 20 feet in the other 
— outside measui'ement. In this instance, the enclosing stones 
are smaller in pioportion to the dolmens than is usually the case, 
(hi the same plate, Madsen represents a single dolmen in a much 
squarcr enclosure.^ It, like that at Halskov (woodeut No. 107), 
is represented as standing on a kuoU, but whether dolmens stand so 

' ' E«5«i giir \e» Dolmen*,' p. 9. 

• ' KoideuiKbe Altorthtitncr von Uelzcn,' Uauovcr, 1816. 

' Madwii, ' Ai)Ui|aitce prclmt.' pi. 8. 



middle are twelve stones, of which six bear three large stoaes, 
placed tranaverpely upon them. It is very much to be regretted 
that no bettor iliustration of this curious monument exist-s, as 
it proliably very closely resembles those in Drenthe, with whifh, 
indeed, he compares it; and as these form one of the most remark- 
able groups of this class of monuments on the continent, it would 
be most desirable to trace their connection with others farther 

A similar monument to that at Hobisch is figured by Sjoborg^j 
(viil. i. pL G), but without the enclosure; and a third, Oroust, laj 
Boliuslnn (pi. 3); but in this instance the three long stones arel 
surrounded by a circular enclosure with two sentinel stones outf] 
side ; and there are several others which show similar peculinrities 
in a greater or loss degree. 

The buried dolmens in Scandinavia are, in some respects, eveni 
more interesting than those which are, and were always intended 
to be, exposed, but our knowledge of them is necessarily more 
limited than of the other class. Sjoborg deserts us almost 
entirely here, and Madseu illustrates only two, wliile the modern' 
antiquaries have been more anxious to secure and classify their 
contents tbau to illustrate the chambers from which they were 
obtained. As a rule, they may be older than the free-standing 
exaniplai, but they do not look old, though, as na'tal has not 
generally been found in them, it is assumed they all belong to 
the Stone age. One exnmple will sufRce to disjilay the general 
features of the older group of this class of iiiouunieuts. The 
next two woodcuts present an internal view and plan of one near 
Uby, in the district of Uolbak, in Zeeland. It was opened in 184' 
and measureil then 13 fet;t iu height, and had tt circumference 
of upwards of 300 feet. The chamber measures 13 feet by 
8 feet, and is walled in by nine great stones, which have bee 
split or hewn, so as to obtain a flat surface towards the interior, 
and the interstices are filled in with smaller stones very neatly 
fitted. The entrance gallery is 20 feet in length, and is closed, or 
capable of being so, by two doors. From the disposition of the 
entrance it certainly does not appear that it was intended to be 
hid. The whole appearance is that of a dignified approach to the 
tomb. Had it been meant to be closed, the chamber would, no 



Cdap. vir. 

These last examples froiu Bladsen's work are further interesting 
to us as illustratinj^ llie diflVreuce between dolmens or chambers 
always intended to be buried in tumuli and those which were 
always meant to be ex[>osed. In the chnmbera at Uby and 
Smidstrup the stones are placed so closely together that very little 
packing between them was sullicicnt to keep out the earth, and 
the passages to them and other arrangenii;iilH all indicate their 
original destination. The case, however, is widely different with 
the dolmens at Halskov and Vahlbygaaixls, or tliose at Liineburg 
or Hobisch, which evidently are now on their mounds as originally 
designed. ^Vitll a very hltle study it seems easy to detect the 
original intentions in all these monuments ; but there is this 
further ditVerence. None of those intended to be exjjosed were 
ever buried, while many which were meant to have been covered 
up never received their intended envelope. 

A monument having a considerable affinity to tlje two last 
quoted exists, or perhaps rather existed, ut Axevalla, in "Wester- 
guthlaud. It was oiiuned apparently ia ISOo, and the repre- 
sentations are taken from drawings then made by a Captain 
Lindgren, who superintended the excavation by the king's com- 
mand. It consists of one apartment 24 feet long by 8 feet wide 
and 9 feet high, TJie iiides and roof are composed of slabs of red 
granite, which, if the plates are to be depended upon, were hewn 
or at least shajtcd in some mechanical fashion. Instead of the 
boilies being laid on tlio floor of the chuuibcr as was usually the 
case, and l>eieig fi>und mixed up with dAris and utensils of various 
kinds, each of the nineteen who occupied this chamber had a little 
cist to itself, so small and irregular-shaped, like those at Rose Hill 
(woodcut No. 39), that the body had to be doubled up, in a most 
uncomfoitable position, to be place J iu the cist. This was by no 
means an uncommon mode of interment in those early ages, but if 
the skeletons were really found in the attitudes here represented, 
their interment must date from very recent times indeed. I know 
there is nothing more common iu archa^olugical books than to 
represent skeletons sitting in most free and easy attitudes in their 
boxes.' But if all the flesh had disappeared as completely as these 

' Biiteiuan, ' Ten Years' Dittgingti,' p. 23. I*wt]l)-n Jowett, ' Gi'ftvo Mounda,' pp. 
14 and lA, &(!. 

Cmap. VTI. 



drawings represent, the integuments must have gone also, and if 
they were eitlier rotted or reduced to dust, the skeleton must have 
collapsed and been fbund. in a lieap on the floor. It would be 
interesting to know how long, either in very dry or in moist places, 
the integuments would lust so as to prevent tbis collapse before 
they were disturbed. No qualified person has yet given an opinion 
on such a subject, but the time could hardly extend to many 





IKilnifll at AJIcvalla Fnmi mubon;. 

centuries. But does the case really exist? are not all these queer 
skeletons merely the imaginings of enthusiastic antiquaries? 

Be this as it may, these el!i[itieal and long rectangular dolmens, 
with their arrangement of cists and entrances in tlie centre uf the 
longer side, seem so di>tinguished from those generally found in 
other countries as to mark another province. It seems scarcely 
open to doubt that the oval forms are the older, though what their 
age may bo is not so clear, nor have any descriptions of their 
contents been published which would tiiable us to form distinct 



Ciikv. vn. 

opiuiou on the snliject. Fliut implements have been fonnd in 
tliem, but, so far aa I can gather, no bronze. According to the 
Danish system, tlierefore, they are all before the time of Solomon 
or the siege of Troy. It niny be so, but I doubt it exceedingly. 
Those who excavated the Axevalla tomb reported that something 
like an inscription was found on one of the woUs (woodRUt No. 116, 
fig. A); but whether it was an inscription or a nsitnral formation is 
by no means ch-ar — at all events, aa we havo no copy of it, it 
hardly hel{js us in arriving at a date. 

In some respects, the Axevalla tomb rosemblcR the grave near 
Kivik, in the district of Cimbrisham, near the sonthem extremity 

of Sweden. This is the most 
celebrated of Swedish graves. 
It is mentioned as perfect 
by Linnfrua in 1749, but was 
shortly afterwards opened, 
and drawings and illustra- 
tions uf it liavp from time to 
lime been publistied since, 
and given rise to the usual 
diversity of opinion. Snhm 
and Sjoborg seem to Bgreea 
iu L'ouuecting it with a battle 
fonght in that neighbour- 
hood by Ragnar I^othbrok, 
about the year 750, in which 
the son of the then king was 
slain.^ This date appears probable; had it been later, there 
would almost certainly Lave been found Runes on some of its 
stones; if earlier, the representations of the human figure would 
hardly have been so perfect. One stone found elsewhere 
(woodcut No. 117),* which seems to have been its head-stone, 
has a cuiious resemblance to the head-stone of the D<d ar 
Marchant, at Locmnriakcr, illustrated farther on. The likeness 
may be accidental, but, as in all those cases, it is difficnlt to 
believe that five or six centuries can have elapsed between 

I It. H*«d-<i<0iw of Klvik Qnivo. Frvm SUUborg. 

Sjuborg. !oe, tmp. eit. 

• Xow dratrojrcl. Pj«'W{:. iil. pi. 10. p. 143. 

Chap. VII. 



two monuments wliicli show so little progress; for whether this 
stone belonged to the Kivik grave or not, it certainly is of 
the same nge and design, some of tlie figures on it being 
identical with those foutid in the tomb, and that can hardly 
be older than the date above quoted. Another of the stones of 
this tomb has two of those circles enclosing crosses which are 
seen on the Herrestrup dolmen and the Aspatria stone, nil of 
which probably belong to the eighth century. The toiub itstdf is 
not remarkable for its dimensions, being only 14 feet long by 
3 feet wide, and almost 4 feet in height. It is much too large, 
however, for any fiingle warrior's grave, but we are not told 
whether it was occupied by a number of small cists like that at 
Axevalla. The probability, however, is that this was the case, but 
120 years ago men were not accurate observers of antiquarian 

Besides those, there are two other forms of tombs which, so far 
Its is yet known, are quite peculiar to th© Scandinavian province. 
The first of these are the so-called ship graves, from their form. 
They consist of two segments of a circle joined together at the 
ends, so as to represent the deck of a vessel, and are of all sizes, 
from 20 or 30 feet to 200 or 300 feet. They aro generally foimd 
on the sea-shore, and it seems hardly to be doubted that they 
mark the graves of Vikings. 

The other form is quite as peculiar, but more difficult to explain. 
It is marked by a range of sttines forming an e<juilateral triangle, 
sometimes straight-lined, but as frequently the lines curve in- 
wards so as to restrict the internal spare considerably. It is by 
no means clear what suggested this form, or what it was intended 
to represent. It is, however, found on battle-fielda (woodcut No, 
118). and solitary examples aro frequent in Sjoborg's plates, 
8t)metimc8 with a Bauta stone in the centre. The one hypothesis 
that seems to account for this form, is that it is the " Cuneatus 
ordo" of Olaus Magnus, luid that it marked a spot where a 
combined phalanx of horse and foot fought and conquered.' The 
probability is that >vhere single it marks the grave of a particuhir 
nmk either in the array or in civil life. 

All these forms are shown in the next woodcut, from a group 

Vide anii; font-note. p. 1 '>. 



found in the peninsiila of Hjortelmmmer, in Bleking, in tie south 
of Sweden, but othera are found in the island at Amrom, and in 
many other places.^ It has Ik-cu disputed vvliether these repre- 
BCut battle-liolds or ure the ordiutiry graves of the inhabitouts of 
the district in which they are found. That those found on the 
shore at Freyrso (woodcut No. 104) mark the graves of those who 


Qravci at Klortcliammer, From Wureaiic 

feU in Blodoxe's battle there in the tenth century seems quite 
certiain, but whether tlds was always the case may bo open to 
doulit ; but certainly a sandy punmsuhi, like that of Hjortehammer, 
seems a most unlikely place fur peaceful men to bviry their dead, 
especially at a time when not one-tenth part of tho land around 
could have been under cultivation. 

For our present purposes it is nf no great consequence which 
opinion prevails, as these foruis ha^e no bearing on those of other 
countries, especially as their date does not seem to be doubted. 
Worsaae places them all between the years 700 and 1000," or in 

' The woodcut ia reilucetl from b plate 
in Worsnot-'s ' Altortluiniskunde Scftndi- 
unvit'na,' but Ixitb it ami tLe Amruui 

gmiip are found in tho ' English Archao- 
logicnl Joiironl,' xxiii. p. 187. 
- ' ArchiBol. Joiiniol,' loc. tU, p. 185, 

Chap. VIT. 



the secouJ imd latest Iron age, and us no oue seems to dispute 
this, it may be accepted as an estublished fuot. Their pecu- 
liarities of form, and the smaUness of the stones of which most 
of them are composed, are such that the date lune awribed to 
thorn does not necessarily bring dowx that ut the true megfdithic 
remains to anything like the same age. It takes away, however, 
all improbability from the assertion that these may be much more 
modt.Tn than was supposed, and this much is certain that there wius 
no break between the great English and Irish circles and the Viking 
graves; or, in other words, men did not cease to murk their 
sepulchres with circles and cairns, and then after a lapse of 
centuries revive the custom, and begin it again on a smaller scale. 
There may be a descent, but there was no solution of continuity, 
and any one can consequently form an idea how long a time must 
have elapsed before the great Wiltshire cindes could have de- 
generated into those of Hjorteharainer. 

There is one other group of moiniments it seems worth while to 
illustrate before leaving this branch of the subject, 'i'hey are 
found in the 


*ft^%a9 ***«*c< 

•>««. n ^ a^ 


At a 

K^HJ Rj%-jp-. 

miles as the 
crow flies 
from Riga, is 
a group shown 
in the accom- 
panying woodcut.' The arrangement is uniisual in Eurofie, but 
is met with in Algeria, and secma to be otdy such a combination 

circlet kt AKbfD»dc From Bihr. 

' Bihr, 'Dio Griibor <kr Liven,' Dresden, 1850, i>l. i. UnfortuimUly. iw ia Uni 
ofteu the riwe, tio spiOu ie engraved on the plute, and no dimenorms are mentioned 
in tlie text. 



Chap. VII. 

of the square enclosures of ScuncUnavia as we would expect to find 
in a cemetery, aa contradistinguished from a battle-field. 

Ill these graves waa found euurnious wealth of bronze luid other 
metal tiud personal ornimients, luiiiiy of which are engraved in Pro 
fesaor Bahr's book. They resemble in many respects the celebrated 
'• find " at Hallstadt, in the Salzkammergut ; * but mixed with these 
Livoniiui treasures were great nariiliers of coins and implements 
of irun of very nwdern form. The coins are classified as follows: — 

GermRn coins, dating frotn a.d. 93G to 1040. 

Anglo-Saxon coius, dating from , ODl „ lOitH. 

Byzanline coins, datiug from „ Ull „ 1025. 

Arabic or Kufic coins, dating from.. .. „ 906 „ 909. 

It is curious that the Eastern coius should be so much earlier than 
the others, but they are only five in nnmber, and may have Ijeen 
preserved as curiosities. The dates of the others prove, at all 
events, that some of these tombs are not of earlier date than 1010, 
and ail, probably, are included in the century which preceded 
that epoch. 

Besides those, however, there are tumuli at a place called 
Segewolde, and circles, sometimes with a stone in the centre, at 
BajiirJ, and no doubt other remains of the same class in the dis- 
trict. The purpose, however, of the only book I know on the subject 
was not to illustrate the fonus of tomlis, but that of the objects 
found in them, and to trace the ethnographic relations of the people 
who possessed them with the other tril>es who at various times 
inhabited that district. The dates of the whole, according to their 
dewriber, may safely be included between the eighth and the 
twelfth century.' 


The most southern group of these momunents belongiug to the 
northern division is one of the most extensive, though unfor- 
tunately one of the least known. It is situated almost exclusively 
in the province of Drenthe, in North llollanfl, where the Hune- 
beds — giants' beds or graves, as they are locidly called — are 
spread over an area extending some twenty miles north and south, 

' Not jct publi^h^^l, su far tu I know. ' ' Dio Griilicr iltr Livi ii,' ji. ."il, 




and probably ten or twelve miles in the opposite direction. This 
tract of country is a bare open heath, which even now is only 
partially cultivatetl, or indeed capable of cultivation, and at 
no time could have supported a population at all in proportion 
to so extensive a group of monuments. 

Ab long ago as 1720, Keysler drew attention to thera, and gave 
a representation of one in order to show its Kimiliirity to Stone- 
henge.' The engraviug, however, is so defective that it is im- 
jRissible to make out what it represents, and as no dimensions 
or statistics are given, it adds very little to our knowledge. A 
short imper on the subject appeared in the ' Journal of the Archaio- 
logical Aa^ociatiou' in 1870, but unfortmiately without tiny illus- 
trations,' and we are consequently dependent for our knowledge of 
them almost entirely to a work published at Utrecht in 1848, by 
the lute Dr. Jansseu, keeper of the antiquities in the museum at 
Leyden. This work is in many respects most painstaking and 
satisfactory ; but, though it is hardly correct to say it, is without 
illustrations, the Huncbeds are represented by convent i(Uial sym- 
bols, which no one would gues^ were inteuded for buLtdtngs of tiny 
sort without a most carefid study of the book. I have ventured fo 
try to translate one of these into ordinary forms, in woodcut No. 120, 
but without at all guaranteeing its correctness. It is, however, suf- 
ficiently accurate to explain the general nature of the monuments. 

Within the area ab<jve described, Jausseu measured and de- 
scribed lifty-one Himebeds still existing, and they were probably 
at one time much more numerous, as he regrets the loss of four 
which he remembers in his youth ; and several others have been 
very much ruined in very recent times. This, fortunately, is not 
likely to happen agaiu, us, with a liberality and intelligence not 
shown by any other government in Europe, the Dutch have 
purchased the Hunebeds and the ground on which they stand, 
with a right of way to the nearest road, so that, so far as possible, 
they will be protected from future depredations. 

' '.^nt. tH-ptciit' p. 5, pi. ii. 

* It l» liy no means char whfthi.T 
Mr. j^aillor, wkn i« tlio niithur of this 
piipcr, L-veT viaitwl the »ix>t, or i'om|)ili><l 
}ii» infurtiiiitioii friirii .luti^^tii'ii'ti Inmlc, 

which, however, he nover nioiitiaiis. Bo 
this an it uiay, it is tiii^ lM'.it pa\iet I 
knnw n( (III iLo iiiilijct<t, aotl well wortliy 
of )K-rii8al. 



Ciup. VII, 

Of these fifty-one monuincnts only one is a dolmen, in the sense 
in which we usually understand it, meaning thereby a single cap 
Rtoiip, KUiiporteil by three, or, as in this instance, by four upripjhts. 
This one is near Exlo, and is one of the few that foimod aehaniber 
in n tumuliig. A few have three cap stones, and from that 
DiuiihcT they range up to ton or twelve, with at least double that 
immljpr of siipprirts. They are nil, in fact, of the class whieh the 
French cidl "uUeos cuuvertes," or " grottes des fees ; " Calliagh 
Birra's house (woodcut No. 80) and the dolmens at Glen Columb- 
kill are of the same class. But the Drentlie dolmens have oue 
peculiarity not found cither in France or Ireland : that they are 
all dosed at both ends, and the entrance, where there is oue, is 
always on the longer side. In this respect they more resemble the 
Scjindfuavian examples, such as the tomb at Axeralla (woodcut 
No. IIG), or tbat at Uby (woodcut No. 114). 

The annexed attempted restoration of one near Emmenwill give 
a fair idea of their general arrangements. It is 4!) feet long over 

all, and iuter- 
- --' '^ :^ '""'"" ■" ''• " " r\ nallyfrom4to 

(3 feet in width. 
It is roofed 
stimes, some 
of considerable 
Some of these 
Hiuiebods have a rajige of ntones roimd them, not arranged in a 
circle or oval form, but, as iu this instance, following tlie lines of 
the central chamber. This is the case with anotlier near the 
same phice, which is 125 feet iji length over all. AVhen closely 
exaniino<l, however, it doos not seem to be one Iltmebed, but 
three rangfng in a straight line, with a samll space between 
each. Two have five and one six cap stones. As a rule, each 
cap stone stands on two uprights, and though frequently they 
touch one another, as often they form really imlependent 
trilithons. It was no doubt thi.-* far-t that induced Keysler 
to compare these monuments with Stunohenge, though in fact 
no two sets of rude-stmie mouuiueuts could wuU be more dis- 



© O 




PUn of Hiint-l**! near 1-jiimcn. 

Chap. VII. 



similar either in arrangement or constrtiction. As will be seen 
from the anneiotl view of one near Bnllo ' (woodcut No. 121), 
they are formed of unshaped granite boulders. Sometimes, it 
may bo, artificially split, but certainly untouched by the chisel. 




Dnlmen nt iUlln. Krom > Pbotognph. 

All that has apparently been done has been to select those most 
appropriate in form for the purjiofies to which they were to l>o 
applied, and then nidolj' to heap them one upon the other, but 
in such a manner as to leave wide gaps everywhere between the 
stones composing the structure, 

The first question that arises with regarti to these Hunebeds 
is, were they originally covered with earth or not? That some 
of the smaller ones were and are is clear enough, and some of 
medium size are still partially so; but the largest, and many 
of the smaller, do not show a vestige of any such covering; 
and it seems impossible to believe that on a tract of wretche<l 
barren heath, where the fee-simple of the land is not now worth 
ten shillings an acre, any one could, at any time, have taken 
the trouble to dig down and cart away such enormous mounds 
as would have been required to cover these monuments. It seems 
here clearer than almost anywhere else that, even if it had been 
intended to cover them, that intention, in more than half the 
coses, was never carried into effect. 

' The woodcut is from a rhotograph 
kindly lent me by Mr. Franks. It is 
audiciont to show liio niiluro of the con- 

airaotion, but the camera is a singu- 
larly nnintilligt-nt interpreter of plan 
or arrangements. 





CiiAr. VII. 

It may be taken for granted that these Hunebeds were at 
one time much more numerous in Drenthe than they now are, 
hut it is a much more difficult point to ascertain whether they 
extendod into the neighlxmring provinc<*8 or not. One is foimd 
ill ( Jroiiiugon, ami oue in Frieshmd, and none oL«?where. It may, 
of course, U^ tlmt in these more fertile and thickly inhabited 
districts thpy have been utilise^l, or removed as incumbrances 
from the 8<^»il, wiiile in Drenthe their component parts were of 
no value, juul they are useful aa sheei^peus tmd pigstyes; and 
to these uses they seem to have been freely applied. It may 
Ik?, also, that there are no granite boxilders in the neighboiiriug 
}in»viuce8, and that they are common in Drenthe. There ccr- 
taiuly seem to be none in Guelderlaud, a coimtry in which we 
would expect to fiiid monuments of this class, as it is the natural 
lino of connection witli tlu' rjcrman dolmen region ; and uidess 
it is that there were no mnterials hiuidyiur their construction, it 
is difficult to imderstand their absence. 

As these Hunebeils have been open and exposed for centuries 
at least — if they were not so originally — and have been used by 
the pea8antr\- for every kind of purpose, it is in vain to cfpect 
that anything will now be foimd in them which can throw 
much b'ght on tln'ir age or use. We can only hope that im 
untouched or only partially plundered exfmiple may be found 
in some of the numerous tumuli which still exist all over the 
country. I confess I do not feel sanguine that this will l»o 
the ease. I W(ndd hope more from the digging up of the floor 
of those which are known, and a careful collection uf any frag- 
ments of pottery and other objects which may be found in them. 
Nothing of any intrinsic value will be foimd, of course ; but what 
is jwrfectly worthless for any other jturpose may l»o most im- 
portant in an antiquarian Judging them from a g<'ueral 
alistmct point of ^-iew, they do not seem of high antifjuity, 
and may range from the Christitm era down to the time when 
the people of this country were converted to Christianity, when- 
ev«;r that may have lieon. This, however, is only inferred from 
their similarity to other monuments mentioned in the preceding 
pages, not from jmy spec-ial evidence gathered from themselves 
or from any local tradition liearing on their tmtiqnity. 

Chap. VII. 



When wc liavo oxamiuLHl tlio raegftlithic remains of Brittany 
and of the north of France, we shall be in a better jwsition than 
we uuw are to appreciate the innwrtjuieo of the gap that exists 
between the Frencli and Scandinaviiin pruvinees ; but in the 
TOPjuiwhile it may be convenient to remark even here that it 
harrlly seems doubtful that the Hunebt'dg of Drenthe and the 
Grottes des fees of Brittany are expressions of the some feeling, 
and, generally, that the niegalithic remains of the southern and 
northern divisions of the western parts of the Europemi continent 
are the works of similar if not identical races, applied to the 
same uses, and probalily are of alx>ut the same age. 

These two provinces are now 8e])arated by the Khiue valley. 
It is probably not too broad an assertion to say there are no 
true Rude-Stone Monuments in the A-alleys of the Rhino or 
S<^he!dt,' or of itny of their tributiiries, or, in fact, in any of the 
eomitries inhabited by the Germans and Belgic. The dulmou- 
bnilding races were, in fact, cut in two by the last-named race 
on their way to colonise Britain. When that took place, we have 
no exact means of knowing. Aoconling to Cn?8ar, sliortly Ixjfore 
his time, Divitiacus ruled over the Beigae of Gaul tuid Britain as 
one province ; ' and the inference from all wt; know — it is very 
little — is that the Belgian immigration to this island was of 
recent date at that time, Whether it was one thousand or ten 
thoiKsand years, the fact that interests us here is that it took 
place before the age of the mde-stone mounments. If we a<lmit 
that tlie peoples who, from Cadiz to the Cimbrie Chersonese, 
erectwl these dolmens were one race — or, at least, had one religion 
— jmd were actuated by one set of motives in their respect for the 
dead, it soems impossible to escape from the conclusion that, 
whether they came direct from the east, or migrated from the 
south northward, or in the opposite direction, they at one timo 
formed a continuous community of nations all along the western 
shores of Eurojie. They were cut across only in one place — 
Ijetween Drenthe and Normandy — and that by a cumparatively 
modern people, the Belgoe. If this is so, the separatiou took 

' Thcro are gcveml dnlnions, ns before 
staUal, in mggMl inouiittiinouB i>(irl« <i| 
Luxcnibarg, liut Ihoy stem lo Iwlong to 

the old rarc8 thnt in tlmio come™ wero 
not. i)we|»t nwny by tlic Uel;>iuii ciirreiit. 
» CVsor, • Bell. «uU.' ii. p. 4. 



Chap. VII. 

place in, tbo pre-dolinen period, whonevfr that may have been. If 
the original races in Bt'lginin had been in the habit of erecting 
dolmens before they were dispossessed by the intruders, we shoulrl 
find remains at least of them there now, as we do lioth north 
and south of that district. As the case now stands, the conclusion 
seems ineritahle tluit it was after their separation that the northern 
and southern families, though no longer in contact, adopts!, each 
in its own peculiar fashion, those more permanent and megalithic 
forms which contact with a higher civilization taufjht them to 
aspire to, without abandoning the distinctions which separated 
them from the more progressive Celts and the thoroughly civilizi?d 


The map opposite is compiled partly fnim the two by M, 
Bertrand, m.entionc(I ]). 326, and partly from one which accom- 
panies Baroo de Bonstetten'a 'Essai sur les Dolmens,' 1864. It 
lias been corrected, in so far as the scale would allow, from the 
information Since accumulated; and may be cimsidered as repre- 
senting fairly our knowledge of the distribution of dolmens at 
the present day. Till, however, the Governments of thia country 
and of Denmark condescend to take up the subject, such a map 
must necessarily remain imperfect in its most vital parta. 






It is only in very recent times that the French have turned lliiiir 
attention to the Btudy of their llude-Stoue Monuments; but siuco 
they hare done so, it has been ia fio sjRtematic and scientifiti 
a manner that, hud it been continued a few yeara longer, little 
woulil Lave been left to be desired by the students of that class 
of ftuticjuities in France. War and revolution, however, iutcr- 
veued just as the results of these Iftboura were about to be 
given to the world, and how long we may now liave to wait for 
them, no one can tell. The 3Iusee de St.-Germaiu was far from 
being ct>niplete in Jialy, and only (he firet parts of the great 
' Dictioniiaire dee Antiquit^'j celtiques' had been published at that 
time. We can now hardly hojie that the necessary expenditure 
will be continued which is indispensable to complete the former, 
and it is difficult to foresee in what manner the uiuteriala collected 
for the dictionary con uow be utilised. 

Even when much further advanced towards completion, it is 
hardly to bo exjMJcted tiiat the muBeums of St.-Germain and 
Vannes can rival the royal collections at Copenhagen ; and if the 
French had confined themselves only to collecting, they would 
not have advanced our knowledge very much ; but, while doing 
this, they have also gathered statistical information, and have 
been ma])pihg and describing, so that our knowledge of their 
monuments is much more complete than of those of the Danes. 
To borrow a simile from kindred sciences, it is as if the Danes had 
attended exclusively to the mineralogy of the subject : collecting 
specimens from all \i&tts, and arranging them according to their 
similarities or affinities, wholly irrcs|iective of the localities from 
which they came. The French, on the other hand, have founded 
a science similar to that of geology on their knowledge of the 
minerals; they have carefully noted the distribution of the various 
classes of monuments, and, so far as possible, ascertained their 



Chap, Vlll. 

relative Bupeqxvsitton. The first is, no doubt, a most useful 
process, nnd oiiy that mast to a certain extent precede the other; 
bat unless we miip the various rocks on the surface and ascertaiu 
their stratification, it hardly helps us in studying the formation or 
history of our globe. 

In 18i>4 ]\I. Bertrand publislied in the ' Revue archeologique ' a 
small map of France, showing the distribution of dolmens as then 
known ; and three years afterwards another, on a much larger scale, 
intended to aceoniimny the 'DJetionnaire des Autiquites eeltiques,' 
and containing all that was then known. Were a second edition of 
this map published now, it would, no doubt, be much more full and 
c<}mplete ; but the main outlines must still be the same, and are 
sufficient for our present purposea From these maps and the text 
which accompanies them wo learn that the greater number of the 
rude-stone monuments iu France are arranged at no great distance 
on either side of a struight line drawn from the shores of the Medi- 
terranean, somewhere about MuntpL-llier, to Morlaix, in Brittiiny. 
There are none east of the Rhone, none south of the Garonne, 
till we come to the Pyrenees, and so few north of the basin or 
valley of the Seine that they may bo considered as wanderers. 

lieferring to the talile at the end of this chaptt-r, which is 
cumpilud from that of 18G1, wc find that thirty departments 
contain more thau ten monuments. Thirty others, according to 
M. Bfrtmud, contain from ouo to eight or nine ; and the remaining 
twenty-nine either contain none at all or these so insiguificant as 
hardly to deserve attention. 

From this table we learn, at least approximately, several facts 
of considerable interest to our investigation. The first is that, of 
the three divi.>iion3 into which Caesar divides Gaul, the uortheril 
in his day belonged to a race who who had no stone monunieuts. 
There are none in Belgium proper, and so few in French Flanders, 
or indeed in any part of Gallia Belgira, that wc may safely assert 
that the Belgre were not dolmen-builders. In the next place, I 
cannot help agreeing with JL Bertrand in his conclusion that the 
Celts properly so called havo as little claim to the monimients as 
the BelgiE.' We know something of the provinces occupied by 

■ ■ U«TUG MclKologiiiuo,' August, 18G4, 148 tl $ei/q. 

Cmaf. VIII. 



the Celts six hundred yours before Christ from Livy's * description 
of the tribes who, under Bellevesus, invaded Italy. Their capital 
wag Brwges, and they occupied the departments iintnediately 
aruund that city; but they had not then penetrated iiitfj Brittany, 
Dor north of the Seine, nor into any part of Aquitaniti.' But 
they occupied the wliole of the east of Gaul up, apparently, to the 
Ulu'ne and the country on the east bank of the Rhone. According 
to the French statistics, there are 14(>,0U0 barrows or tumuli in the 
departments of tho Cote-d'Or, Vosges, Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhiu, Doubs, 
Jura, and Ain, hut not one single dolmen ;^ and there are none 
to the east of tho Rhine. As wo proceed westward, the tumuli 
become rarer, and the dolmens are gra<liiully met with. The 
Averni, for instance, were one of the Celtic tribes that accom- 
panied Bellovesus, and iu their country dolmens are found; but 
|)erliap3 we need only infer from tin's that in a hilly country 
like Auvergne the older people still remained, and followed their 
old cnstoms in spite of its partial occupation by the conquering 
Celts. We do not know at what period the Celts first invatled 
fJaul, but there seems no reason for supposing that it could not 
be very long before they first came in contact with the Romans ; 
and if we may judge from the rate of progress which they made 
in subduing the rest of the country in historic times, thuir first 
invasion could hardly have been a thousand years B.c, All the 
tumuli in the of France which have been dug into have 
yielded implements of bronze and metal,* and if they belonged 
to the Celts, this would fairly accord with tlie conclusions at 
which archffioloi'ists have arrived from other sources with regard 
to the Bronze age. It is not, however, worth while following 
up the question here; for unless it could be provetl that the 
dolmens either succeeded or preceded the tumuli, it luis no 
bearing on our argument. Tho fact of their occupying dlEferent 
and distinct districts prevents any conclusion of the sort being 
arrived at from geographical or external eon»i<lerations. Their 
contents, if compared, might aftbrd some information, but up to 
the present time this btis not been done, and all we can at present 

' liry, V. <'hnp. 34. 

' Walckiioer, 'UcogniphieileaOaules,' 
Tlip L-nrlier clmi)k>rs lUid Miip V. 

• 'Revue archdologiquo,' new tsotivt, 
vii. T2S. 

• Ibid. 


:bap. VIII. 

Bissume is that there were two oontomporary civilizations, or 
barbarisms, co-existing simultaneously ou the soil of France. My 
impression is, however, that the Celtic biirrow-buiiders were earlier 
converts to Christianity, and left ofif their heathenish mode of 
burial long before the less etisily converted dolmen-builders of the 
west ceixsetl to erect their Kude-8toiie Monuments. 

We are thus reduced to the third of the great provinces into 
which Gaul was divided in Caisar's time, to try and find the people 
who could have erected the stone uionumeuta of France, and at 
tirst sight it seems extremely probable that they were erected by 
the Aquitauiaus. Both C£esar ^ and Strabo' distinctly assert that 
the people of the southern province diflFered from the Celts in 
language and institutions ns well as in foatures, and add tliat 
they resembled more the Iberians of Spain thau their northern 
neighbours. Wiien, however, we come to look more closely into 
the matter, we tind that the Aquitania of Ciesar was confined 
to the country between tlio Garonne and the Pyrenees, and where, 
however, few, ifany, dtiliuens now exist. They are rather frequent 
in the Pyrenees ' and the Asturias, where remnants of the dolmen- 
building races may have found shelter and continued to exist after 
their congeners were swept from the plains; and there are ono or 
two ou the left bank of the Garonue, but except theso there 
are none in Aquitania proper. If, however, we apply the term 
Aquitania to tho province as extended by Augustus up to tho 
left bank of the Luiro, we inelude the greater part of the pro- 
vinces where dolmens are found ; but hei-e again, when we look 
more closely into it, we fmd that the northern districts of this 
great province were, in Augustus' time, inhabited by Celts, or, at 
all events, that Celts formed the governing and inftueutial bodies 
in the states. Indeed, the fact seems to be that, during the six 
centuries which elapsed between the invasions of Italy by the 
Gauls and the return invasion of Gaul by the Koraans, the Celts 
had grudually extended themselves over the whole of central 
France from the Garonne to the Seine, and had obliterated the 
political status of the people who had previously occupied the 

Dc Bcllo Gall." i. 1. » 8tj»1w, vi. 17(i, !«». 

• ' ArchoKiIogioal Journal,' 1P70, eviii. |>. 'liH tl $eqq. 

Chap. VI 1 1. 



country, though there is no reason to suppose they had then at 
least attempted to exterminate them. It iniist thus be either tlmt 
the Celts were tlie builders of the dolmens, which appears most 
improbable, or that there existed in these provinces a prehistoric 
peo|iIe to whom they must be ascribed. 

Without at all wishing, at present at least, to insist upon it, I 
may here state that tlie inipreasion on my mind is every day 
growing stronger that the dolmen-builders in France are the 
lineal descendants of the Cave raeu whose remains have recently 
been detected in such qunutities on the banks of the Dnrdogne 
and other rivers iu the south of Frajice.' These remains are 
foond in quantities in tlie Ardeche* and in Poitou.' If they 
have not been found iu Brittany, it may be that they have not 
been hjoked fi>r, or that the soil is uiifavourable to their pre- 
servation ; but they have been found in Ficardy, though possibly 
not exactly of the same class. It is, of course, dangerous to found 
any argument on such local coincidence, as new discoveries may 
be made in the east uf France or elsewhere ; but in the present 
state of our knowledge the Cave men and the dulmcus seem 
not only conterminous but their frequency seems generally to be 

As we know next to uuthing of the languages spoken in the 
south-west of France before the introduction of the Romance 
forms of speech, philology will hardly assist us in our enquiry. 
There is, however, one particle, ao, which I cannot help think- 
ing may prove of imi)ortanee, when its origin is aseertained. Iu 
the table at the end of this chapter, I have placed the number 
of the names of the cities having this termination in each depart- 
ment* next to M. Bertrand'a number of dolmens. The coin- 
cidence is certainly remarkable, more especially as it is easy to 

' Liirtet, Otiristy, and ' Rcliquun Aqut- 
lunicir.' lx>ni1on, 18C5 rl tcqq. 

• 'MoniimonU mi>;jralitliiqiiP8 dn Vivn- 
raiV,' p. on. Jo Murchanil ; MunljiolIiLT, 

• • £pot)tie4 antcliJMViriqoos An Poi-,' P. A. Unmillnt; I'oiliora, 1865. 

• 'I'hia list mwA bo taken mi only 
tmttiitiTC. All I hiivp rloTir was to lulu.' 
the Alluj Joanne, iinil eount the iniiulx'r 

I of nonius od well as I (viulJ. I feel fiir 
I from confldt'nt tlmt I Intro counted all : 
I nnd, Ix'uidos, the scale of the uiaps is t<K' 
sanall to fcol sure that all, or iK«rly nil, 
are tlipro. It is, however, aufllcieiit for 
present purposes of cnniiKirison. If it 
ia thought worth while to paraue llio 
iiivt*tipilicin fnrtlicr, it iiiuBt le done on 
the 80,000 i«c«le map of Frnnc«, whi<'li 
would 1)0 work of grciit luUnu". 



Chap, VIII. 

account for the coniparatiTe paucity of names with this temii- 
nation in Brittany by taking into account the enomioue reflex 
wave of Celtic jwipnlation from ICnghiufl that overwhehned that 
country in the tVnirth and fifth centuries, and changed the iionien-' 
clature of half the phices in the district : still, Camac and Tuiiiiac, 
Missilac, and others, as names of monuments, and Yflflgnac, as 
tbe uarao attached to the jwrt which I believe was the place 
of embarkation for Eughind, with many others that remain, are 
sufficient to attest that more previously may have existed. 

The question reraaina, what is this particle ? The first impulse 
is to assume that it is the i3asque definite article. The 
Basques, for instance, say Ouizon, " a man," Ouizonac, " the 
niHji," and GuisAnae, " the ram," besides using it in other cases, 
while their local proximity to the dolmen country would reuder 
such a connection far from improbable. Against this, however, 
it may be urged, that ae, »s a terminal syllable, hardly ever 
occurs in the Basque provinces, and the names to which it is 
attni'heil in France hardly seem to Iwlong to that huiguage. 
An<jtl>er suggestion bus been made,' that it is equivalent to the 
Greek word iroX*?, which wouM lie exactly the signification for 
which wo are looking, though in what language this occurs is 
by no means clear. For our present purjiose, however, it is of 
little consequence what it may or may not be. It is suflicient 
to know that its occurrence is, as nearly as may be, coincident 
with the existence of dolmens. It drM-s not occur to the eastward 
of the Rhone, nor do dolmens, though both are frequent on the 
right bank of that river ; and it is not to be found in the east of 
France, in those countries which we have reason to believe were 
at the dawn of history essentially Celtic, and where the tumuli of 
the Bronze i>eriLHl exist in such numlx^rs. It does, however, occur 
in that part of Cornwall south of Eedruth and west of Falmouth,' 
where all the rude-stone monuments of that j>rovince are found, 
but it is not found anywhere else in Great Britain or Ireland. 

> D(>lpnn, '8tAtutiqne<luDrlHirtcment j mitpB always spelt with an atlditirmiil k, 

dn Lot,' i. p. HH3. ' ne Bot»lliic/r, CaniidjiicJL-; nlllirnii;)) ttii>i is 

' In thu Ordtiunec Mapti, 1-inch scnle, | by no moans the uauolur aucioutAjK-lliDi 

the tcraiiimtiuD ac oe<:vin ni lea«t 38 of the diotriet. 
iiiuca in Uiia ciiMiCr, Hiuiijjh iu ihvM! 

Chap. VII f. 



Nor is it found in the Channel Islands, though dolmens ahuuud 
there ; but this may be accounted for by the subsequout colonisa- 
tion of these isliiudti, us of Brittiuiy in more modurn liiiu>s, by 
races of a diflerent origin, wh(i have to a great extent obliterated 
the original nomenclature of the country. 

Equally interesting, however, for our purposes is the fact that, 
tliough the oc-terminutiou occurs fre(juently in the d^^-part- 
luents between the Garomie and the Pyrenees, no dolmens exist 
in that region except, as before mentioned, a few at the roots 
of the mountains. This, at first sight, might seem to militate 
against the universtdtty of the theory ; but I, on the other hand, 
only take it to express that the oc-people were driven from 
tliat cotmtry by Ibero-Aquitimiang before they had udopteil the 
fiishion of stone monuments. If we l<new when Aquitania was 
first occupied by the people whom Ciesiir and Strabo found there, 
it would give us a date before which dolmens could Ininlly have 
existed ; but as we have no materials for the purpose, all that can 
be said is that, just as the d<jlmen races were cut in two by the 
Belgae before the use of stone for funereal monuments liad been 
introduced, so here the same plicnomenon o^^cniTed, and the |>eoplo 
we have to deal with were driven north of the Garonne, west of 
the Ehone, and south of the Seine, before they took to builtliug 
dolmens — assumiug, of course, that they once had exteude<l 
beyond those limits; but this, except in the case of AquitHoiu 
pro{»er, does not at present seem capable of being proved. 

JJefore the Komans came in contact with them, and our first 
^vritten accounts describe them, they had ceased to b<3 a nation 
politically, and their language also was lost, or, at least, except in 
the one syllable ac, we now know nothing of it. If, therefore, 
it may l>e argued, the natiimality of this people was lost before 
the Christiim era, and their language had become extinct, these 
monuments must Ijelong to a long anterior period. There are, 
however, certain considerations which would make us pause before 
jjunping too hastily to this conclusion. There are, throughout 
the whole dolmen region of the south of France, a series of 
churches whose style ia quite distinct from that of central and 
northern France, The typical examjile of this style is the 
well-known <-iiiiii-h of St.-Frt>ut, PcTigueux. IJut tin- i-hurches at 



CkaP. VIII. 

Cahors, at Sou iliac, at Moissac, Peaussac, 'I'remoluc, St.-Avlt- 
S^nieur, luul raany others, are equuUy cLtiracteristic. Th« 
mthedral at Angonleine, the abbey clnircli at Fontfvruult, ami 
St.-llaurice at Angers,' and the cliurch at Lnjches — all these 
churches are trharacterized Ijy jiossessing domes, and the earlier 
ones by having pointed archos wliich ItMik very much more as if 
they were deiived tVoni the horizontal arches of the tumuli than 
I'rom the radiating arches ol' the Itomauff, which the Celts every- 
where adopted; and, altogether, the style ia so peculiar that no 
one the leant funnlinr witli it can ever mistiikc it fur a Celtic 
Htyle. Ail belong to the same group, and ns distinctly as, or even 
more so than, the ac-termiuatiou, luurk out the country as inhabited 
in the eleventh luid twelfth centuries by a people diflering from 
the Celts. Though, therefore, both their nationality and their 
language may have bticn superseded by those of the more enter- 
prising and active Celts k-fore the time of Csesar, it is evident 
they retained their old feeling and a separate iutemal existence 
to a period at least a thoiisanil years later. 

There is still aimther trait that marks this country aa a nou- 
Celtic country iu historicid times — it is in the south-west, jvnd 
there only, iu France tliat Protestantism ever flourished or tv)ok 
root. To the Celt, the transition was everywhere easy from the 
government of the hierarchy of the Druids to that of the similarly 
organized priesthood of Komo. But it required all the cruel 
power of the Inquisition — the crusades of Simon do Moivtfort — 
the exterminating wars against the Camisards of the Ccvemies^ 
and, in fact, centuries of the most cruel and unrelenting perse- 
cution down to the revocatiou of the Edict of Nantes, and, 
indeed, ti> the French Rev<dution — to exterminate this people 
and extirpate the faith and feelings to which they clung. If 
they have in their veins, as I fancy they must have, any of the 
blood of the Cave people, they belong to one of the letist 
progressive people of the earth, and we should not therefore bo 
surpriseii if it n-tjuired tw(j thousand years of Celtic aggressive- 

• The whole of these churcbcii nro d^- 
Rcribed in more or 1l«8 ilr-tuil >ir Felix do 
Vcrui'ilh in his ' Atvliitvcturo liyzuutinc 

en Franco,' 410. Piu-jg, 1S51. Severnl of 
tliem Bre also ill^l^^nlU'd in my ' History 
of Archilcctur©,' L. 418-411. 

Cinr. vni. 



nt;?s, <uupletl with Celtic ferocity, entirely to obliterate this race, 
if, inrlee<l, that is done even now, which I verj" much doulit. 

Before leaving this part of the subject, there is one other 
question which it may be as well to allude to here, ns these 
investigations into the distribution of the rude-stone monu- 
ments seem destined to throw a new and important light 
upon it. Few questions have been more keenly debuted among 
the learned than the relation-ship stated to have existed 
between the Cimbri and tlie Gauls. A great deal has been, 
and can be, said on both sides,* but the diflSculty appears to 
me to have arisen principally from the erroneous assumption that 
no other people except the Celts existed in France. 

There is no trace of Celts or of a Celtic language in the 
Cirabric Chersonese or the north-west comer of Europe, whifh 
is generally assumed to be the country occupit-d by the Cimbri, 
and no such people as the Cimbri are found settletl in any part 
of Franco in historiciil times. If, however, we assume that the 
relationship may have been between the Cimbri and the Aqui- 
tanians, the case assumes a totally diSerent aspect. As we do 
n<jt know what the language of the Aquitaniiins really was, 
no assistance can be obtained from it, but our very ignorance of 
it leaves the field open for any other evidence that may be 
adduced, and that of the monuments seems clear and distinct. 
It seems almost im^K>SHible that there should be so much 
similarity between the monuments of the two countrieg without 
some community of race, and the great likeneas that ixist^ 
Iwtween those on the southern frontier of the nurtheru dolnu-n 
province antl those on the northern edge of the southern 
dolmen field seems almost to settle the question. 

From historj' we only know of the existence of this rcljiliou- 
Hhip by the modn in which tlipy fought together against iAlntius iji 
the late Roman wars. If they were then geograjihically separated 
by the Belgse and the Celts having thrust themselves between 

' Tlie argument, wliich it is not necessary to enter on hero, has Iwcn well nimnHnl 
up by Dr. B^hmitz, in Smith'* 'Dictionary of (ireek luij Uomvi Oeogruphy," tub 
voee Cimbri. 



Chap, TUT. 

tliem, the separation must have been recent, for a burbarian 
people could hardly 1)6 brought to acknowledge the ties and 
dntiea of rvlationship after a long intervtd of time.' 

As may be gathered from the table, page 376, or the map 
opposite page 324, the rude-stone moiiiimonta aro protly evenly 
distributed over the whole of the area extentliug from the English 
Channel to the Meliterranean Sea. Our knowledge of them is, 
however, practically confined to the northern portion of this zone, 
known as Brittrtiiy. The information which is available regartling 
those of Langiiedoc and Giiienne is of the most meagre description, 
llinidrt'ds of English tourists have visited Brittany, and many of 
them have drawn the monuments there and at least describp<l 
ihoiii intelligibly ; but I do not know one English book that 
mentions those in the JepartnieDts of Lot or Dordogne, and almost 
the only information regarding them is to be picked up from the 
local "Statistiques;" but as these are very rarely illustrated, they 
do not suffice. No form of words will convey a correct idea of any 
unknown architectural monument except by comparing it with ono 
that is known; and unless both have some well-defined features 
of style, it ia even then very difficult, and with rude unshapod 
stones, almost impossible, by words to convey what is intended. 

It is to be regretted thiit we do not know moro of the southern 
examples,' as they are different in several essential features from 

' The cxigtcnce of thi« line of doImOQS 
and of n sepiimte people, all the wny from 
Urittauy to Xarlxiiine, may serve, jx'rhui>s, 
to <'X[ilAin the tnotle in which tlic tin of 
Britrtin found iis wiiy ncross Fnmo* to the 
Mixlitcrrniii-nn Si*. Tlmt llm Veneti 
tra'U-tl from the C«toBKlu-Noril and tho 
Klorliilian tnContwall und iLvOiissiierides, 
no one, probubly, will diHputo. Their 
TCfisels, accordiiig to Ciusar'H occount, 
were fully lxiiuiI lo currying to Fraixf 
all tlu' luetnl tlii:) ooniitry could pniducf. 
Tho roftd by which it nnclied Marsfillca 
ncr<i»a Frnu<'« whs ahv»y« the diniculty. 
In later timcji, tho CiOlic tnuk-route 
wriiHs Fnincc wna njipurciitly np tho 
Rhone, but on ita loft bonk, nnd down 
tho Seine, or on its right bonk : |ii>Esijig 

then through CptUca, but round the 
A()iiitAiiia of Aiignistiiii, nnd renohing 
Uritiiiu through tho country of tho 
Morini, which wm tho route Cicsiir 
followed. This doen not, liownvcr, appear 
lo liflve betn the line which wiw taken 
by tho trade in tin. It follnwt«l. bo far 
u wo know, [.the central line of the 
dolmen countrj-; and tho fact of ono 
jieoplo and one lung^uDgu prevailing 
throughout the whole of that region 
tukfs away any inipmbubility, and re- 
tuoves all the dilHcidlioa tliat have 
hitherto impeded the* adniition of that 

' My intent Ion was to hoYO Bpont 
last autumn in travelling through the 
southern departuiciil« of Finnce with 

ciiAP. VII r. 



those of the north ; and it is probable that any one who was familiar 
with all conld point out a gradation of style which would aid 
materially in determining tlieir age. Whatever that may turn 
out eventually to be, no one will, I presume, contend that all are 
of one age or even of one century. It is far more probable tliat 
they extend over a considerable lapse of time, pmbably a thousand 
years, and if thLj is so, there must have been changes of fashion 
even among Cave races as Uieir blood got more and more niixeil ; 
and it would be interesting to know where and — relatively at least 
— when this took place. Bfy present impression b that the southern 
are the most modem, for this among other reasons. — I look on 
the sequence of a cist in a barrow to a dolmen or chamber in a 
tumulus as very nearly certain, and from that the sequence to the 
exposed free-standing dolmen, and from that to the dolmen on 
the tumulus, as nearly, if not quite as, probable. The latter form, 
so fur as I know, never occurs in Brittany, while on the other hand 
it is common in the south of France.' If they are of the same 


Dtlmeo At StucUoct. 

ago as similar monuments in Scandinavia and Ireland, they must 
bo of comparatively mwlern date. There are also some monii- 

Ihig inteut: but the war rcndurod Uie 
}XKiitluu of au csplnriiig anil aki'tching 
fui'*<Igut>r na uudc-tiimblu Ihut I wqh forced 
to det^Ut. ilud UiU bo<ik Iieeu u " oto- 
tiiique " of the Budjcct, nn it wiks nrigin- 
nlly iutcndcd, I should hiivo been 
obliged to dt^fer iU publication till I had 
aix)i'>iujiiiti]R-d UiU jonrni-y, nr till Uio 
lu^nuiiRntd had bcin Uhutratcd. An, 
howi'ver, it has now asauniod iiture tho 

form of iin " iirguinont," tliid ia of ooin- 
jtanilivL'ly liltk< coascqupnoe. 

' In a impiT on llie • Muiiiiiucntg mc'gn- 
in tho Norwich volume of the Pn-hiMorio 
CongiOM, ho ^ivea dmwingB of ton lu 
types. Fivo of thc«e, or ono-iiulf, aro dul- 
mens on tumuli, whtoh is, howcvur, pru- 
faably ini.ire thuu a fair projx^rliou. Ono 
luia ttlrcHidy Kilu jiivon, wunlcut No. 8. 


Chap. VIII. 

II, trilithons of hewn or jiartially hewn stone, aa this one At 
Sauc'lieres (woodcut No. 122), which at least look more modern 
than tlieir northern congeners. 

The monviment, however, that seems copal>le of throwing (he 
•rreatest amount of light on their age is the dolmen of St.-Germain- 
8ur-Vienne, near Confolens, in Poitou, As will be seen from the 
woodcuts opposite, its cap-stone, measures 12 feet by 15 foet, and is 
)f proportionate tliickness. The mass was originally stipported by 
Ive cohimns of Gothic design, but one having fallen away, it now 
rests only on four ; but their interest arises from the fact tlint 
the style of their ornamentation belongs undoubtedly to the 
twelfth century or thereabouts — certainly not earlier than the 
eleventh. In order to expluin away so unwelcome an anomaly, it 
has been suggested, that some persons in the twelfth century cut 
away all the rest of the original rude stones which supported the 
{.•u|>-8torie, and left only the frail shafts which we now see. If this 
were so, it would in no way alter the argument to be derived 
from it. If men could be found in thu twelfth century to t^ke 
tlie trouble and run the enormous risk of such an operation, their 
respect for the monument must have been quite equal to that im- 
plied in its erection ; but the fact is that each of the five columns 
is composed of three separate pieces — a base, ii shaft, and a capital,' 
an we see them now as they were originally erected.'"' 

There may be doubts abtmt the tomb of the Moals at Ballina 
(page 233), btit doubt seems impossible with regard to this : it 
is ft dolmen ])nre and simple, and it was erected in the twelfth 
century. In itself the fact may not be of any very great im- 
jjortance, but it cuts away the ground from any a priori argument 
as to the age of these monumentfct. It does not, of course, prove 
tliat they are all moilern, but it does show that some of them at 

* * StolLstiquo monumental^ Jc In Cha' 
rontc," HI. TJiplinpI. ' Fmnce nirtnu 
moiitiile,' ]> 


C77. *Mem, 

de In Society 
de France,' 

vii. 2C. 

' The \roodeuts are copied frrnn 
Miclum, ' Statistiiine de la Chfu^nte." 
Id dcacriWing il, he quotes the Edict 
of tlie Council at Nantes with rcgiml 

to the destruction of theso " vcneratedl 
stones." He (p. 141) gives the tiale of'^ 
lliia council as a.i>. 1262, which would I 
almoal make it iippear this was on* j 
of the stones against wliich the decree 
was fulminated. Thiti date, however, i 
appears to l>c a niistftke. The true data % 
I Ijclieve in lie 658, as gi?Fn above, 
p. 24. 


Chap. VIII. 

but there are still dinicultiea, for be goes on to say : " Nous 
tenons peu de compte des debris de tuiles auti({iie8 rencontrees 
a la snpfrficic du tximuliiF, et nieme sous log tables dii doliiipn. 11 
est raisonriable irjKbnettre quo cos fragments de tuiles qui de- 
noiiceiit rindustrio gnllo-romainc, ont accidetitellenieut penetre 
dans I'interieur." * 

Let lis pause a moment to consider what is involved in such 
a supposition. These tiles, which it is adniittetl are scattered in 
quantities over the surrounding iilain, must have elimhe<l to the 
top of the mound, penetrated through three nnflistnrbed strata of 
earth, aiul fiunlly penetrated " uffidenfally " botwti-n the close- 
fitting shibs forming the roof of the chamber. The hyputhesis will 
not bear a moment's examination, but anything, however absurd, 
is to some minds preferable to admitting that any dolmen or 
tuninlns can be subsequent to Koiuan times. It is astonishing, 
however, what eflect tlmt shibboletli, *' no trace of n\etal," has 
on the miitd of most antiquaries. It is, of course, true tliat before 
the metals were introduced no trace of them could be found in 
the prehistoric barrows of the niJe savages that occupied Europe 
in the earliest times. Wo do not, at the present day, bury 
metal objects in our graves, and but for the cottin nails it would 
be as fair to argue that the graves in Keusal Green are pre- 
historic because the interments show no trace of metal imple- 
ments. At all events, there are many burying races now existing 
who do not use coffins, nor bury metal objects in their graves ; and 
all these this argumfut would make prtliistoric. To me it seems 
much more logical to assume tliat, iu those countries which had 
been occupied by the Romans, the natives, though reverting after 
their departure to their original modes of sepulture, had at least 
been so far civilized as to know that bronze daggers and spear- 
heads were not likely to be of much use in the next world, and 
had come to the conclusion that the personal ornaments of the 
dead might as well remain with their living friends. This hypo- 
thesis would at least account for the absence of metal in the 
long barrows of Gloucestershire, and at West Kennet, as well 
as at Crubelz, though Komnn pottery was found in all these 

' Bet. arch6oI(igiqiie,' ir. 4O0. 

Chap. VIII. 



instances. In fact, it is the merest negative presumpliuu to 
assume tliat, because uo metal is found in a gr&ve. it muKt be 
prehistoric. It may bo of any age, down to yesterday's, in bo far 
as fiuch proof is concerned. 

Even the presence of metal, however, does not disturb the faith 
.of some antiquaries. The Baron de Bonstetten, for instance, 
opened a tuinubis not far from Crubelz. At one foot (30 centi- 
metres) lielow the undisturbed surface the usual dejiosit of flint 
imphinents was found; and two feet (GO centimetres) below 
Tlieni two statuettes of Latoua in terra-cotta and a coin of Con- 
stantine II. were found, but without this in the least degree nhaking 
his undnubtiug faitli in the i>rel]iat<tr[c antiquity of the tomb!' 

Numerous other Koinnn coins have been found in tiieso French 
nioniuueuta, but tlieir testimony is disregarded. In tlie Manue 
er H'roek, commonly called the Butte de Cesar, about hnlf a mile 
south from Locmuriaker, near the surface, eleven niedais of the 
Koman emperors, from Tiberius to Trajan, were found, togetlier 
with fragments of bronze, glass^ and pottery, but there were no 
signs of a secondary interment,^ In like manner, in another monu- 
ment at Beauuiont-sur-Oise, Roman moneys wore found, but, as M. 
Bertrand is careful to explain, in a stratum above the stone and 
flint implements, which, of course, he believed to mark the true date 
of the monument.^ It seems impossible, however, tliat all these 
Roman coins can have been accidentally placed there. Tliose of 
Vulentinian and Tiieotlosius in tlie mound at New Grange were 
precisfily in the same pasition as those of Titus, Domitian, and 
Trajan in tfie Butte de Cesar or thostj of Beaumont, and so were 
those itf Constautiue founrl at Uley, in Gloucestershire (ante, p. I60). 
Those of Valontiniiui at Minning Lowe were in the tomb itself; 
so probably might others hdve been found in the other tombs had 
they not previously been rifled. It is not ejisy to assign a motive 
for placing these coins in the npiier part of the mound externally. 
Their being found in that position at New Grange, Uley, Locma- 
riaker, and Beaumont, is, however, sufficient to prove it was not 

' 'Eami aar Ice PnlmeoK,' p. 38. 

' Paper read l>y 8. Fcr}?tisfin, Q.C., 
tx>fore the R. I. A. 14tli Pw. 1863. S«* 
ulwi imtnptilpt tij" Rene Onllo* (Vonnes, 

18CB), dc«!ribing tlic explomtiun. 

' 'Conprtu pn?hi-lrtriiiuo,' v,<\. do 
Pariii, 18B8, 42. 

Z 2 



Chap. VTII, 

accidental, and their value is so small that tliey could not liave 
been buried there for concealment. They must have had something 
to do with some funereal rite or superstition, the memory of which 
has passed away. No ancient British or Ganh'sli C(jins have ever 
been found in similar positions, and no Cliristian coius, which, 
had their presence been purely accidental, would probably Inive 
been the case. The inference seems to me inevitable thai they 
were hwkcd on as valued relics or curiosities, and placed there 
intentionally by those who raised the mounds it may be very 
lonj; after the dates which the coins bear. 


There is nothinpf specific in the Rude Stone Monuments of 
Franco sufUcient to distinguish them from those of the other 
coimtries we have been describing. They are larger, finer, and 
more numerous there than in either Scandinavia or the British 
Isles, but except in the negative peculiarity of there being no 
circles in France there is little to distinguish (he two groups. 
It can hunlly eve*n be absolutely asserted that there are no circles 
in France. There are some semicircles, which may possibly have 
been parts of circles never completed ; there are some rows of 
small stonr-g around or on tnmuli ; but cortainly nothing that can 
for ono moment be claased with the great circles of CunilM^rland 
and Wiltshire, or those of Moytura and Stennis, and certainly 
nothing like the innumerable Scandinavian examples. 

Wo are hardly yet in a position to speculate why this should 
be so ; but, so far as I can at present see, I would infer from this 
that the French examples are, as a rule, of earlier date than the 
British and Scandinavian- The cii'de I take to bo one of the 
latest forms of rude-stone architecture — the skeleton of a tumulus, 
after the llesli of the sepulchral mound, which gave meaning to 
the group, had been thrown on one side as no longer indisj>eusable. 
But of this we shall be better able to judge as we proceed. 

Another characteristic, although not a distinction, is the fondness 
of the French for the "Alle« couverto" or "Grotto des fees." 
No examples of this form have yet been brought to light in 
England, but one is engraved (woodcut No, SO) as the Hag 

Chap. Vlll. 



Birru'a grave near Sfonasterboice, a second from the same ueigh- 
bourbood, at Greearaount (woodcut No. 81), and they exist in 
Scandinavia, but their borne is Dreiithe and the neighljouring 
coruor of Gtriuuny. As already meutioned, upwanis of fifty 
examples exist iu that province. They are much ruder, it must 
be confessed, than thosy of France ; but this may arise from the 
uature of the only material available; tliey have also the peculi- 
arity of having the eiitrauee always at the side instead of at the 

80 far as their distribution iu France has yet been ascertained, 
the Grottos des fees exist only on tlie Loire, and to the north of 
it, in fact in the most nuithcui division of the Fruueh dolmen 
region ; while, ou the other baud, us they are principally found in 
Drenthe, or at tlie southern extremity of the German dolmen field, 
we may assume that there is some fouiieftiou between the two, 
or that thure uould have been if it had not been severeil by the 
Belgiiuia before those in either region were erected. 

One of the finest of the French examples of this class of 
monuments is that near Saumur, at Bafnieux. The walls are 
composed of only four stones on one side and three on the 
other, yet it measures 67 feet li inches by 14 feet 4 inches across. 
Anotlier, near Esse, is even larger, though not so regular iu plan, 
nor so grand in tlio character of the stones. It measures, liow- 
ever, Gl feet by 12 feet at the entrance, increasing to 14 feet over 
all at the inner end. There is a third at Mettray, near Tours, 
wliieh, though very nuieh smaller, is curiously characteristic of 
the form. The imuieuse mass in the centre (woodcut No. 125) 
and the two smaller which form the roof almost take from it the 
character of rude-stone architecture. There is a fourth, of a less 
megalithic character, at Locmariaker,' and several others are dis- 
persed over Britttmy. It is not possible to know wliether the 
intention may not have been that these, like all smaller chambei-s, 
should have been buried in tumuli. These just quoted, however, 
certainly never were so, but this may have arisen fruin their 
having been lell unfinished. That at Bagneux, however, could 
hardly have supported a heavy mass without falling in, and that 

' AU these an- K:|iro8C'uUMl iu Onilliabauira ' Arobiiccturo ancioiino et nuMlnrao,' 
ii. ))latL'« 7 iinil K. 

Chap. VIII. 



village of Knikenho, Imlfway between Carnac and Erdeven, 
and 18 now used as a cnrt-slied or barn. It certaiiily never was 
covered up, tliouj^li its entrance may liavo been closed ; indeed, 
the stont'S used for that jnirpose still lie in front of it. From 
this, whiL-li ujay be styled a tirst-class dolmen of the ordinary type, 
down to the simple duhneu of four stones, like Kit's Cotty house, 
every possible variety and gnidatioii are to be found in France ; but, 
so far as I know, no classilicutioii has been Lit upon which would 
eimble us to say which are the oldest or which the more modern. 

On the whole, however, I am ijiclined to look on the Grottes 
des fe'es as the more modern form. The stone-s tif which they are 
composed are generally hewn, or at least shaped, by metal tools 
to the extent to which those of Stoneheuge can be said to be so 
treated. They also look more like ordinary structures than other 
niegallthie moniimcuts, and seem rather sepulchral chapels tlian 
sepulchres. Even, however, if we were to determine to regard 
them as relatively the most modern of the northern dolmens, this 
would not settle the question of the southern external dolmens 
on tumuli, which may be even more modern. These questions, 
however, njust, I fear, remain unanswered till our knowledge of 
tJie form of the whole group and of the materials of which the 
monuments are composed is mora extensive and more accurate 
than it is at present. 

The holed-stone variety occurs frequently in France, either in 
the form of simple four-stone dolmens, like that of Trie, Oise' 
(woodcut No. 127), or in a still more characteristic example at 
Grandmout, in Bas-Languedoc * (woodcut No. 12S). Certaitdy 
neither of these was intended to be covered up, at least in 
the first instance, or, at all events, only partially ; or the use 
of the hole, which was, no doubt, to get access to the chamber, 
would have been destroyed. The umbrella form of the southern 
example is hardly such as would ever be used for a chamber in 
a tmnulus, but as a |)eut-roof is singularly suitable for an open-air 
munumt'ut. The so-called Coves at Avebury were, I believe, in 
this form, and it prevails also in India ^ and elsewhere, and the 

' Gailhubatid, 'Arch. buc. ft mod.' i. 

* tCcnnuvii'r, ' MoiiuiiicnU de Bu6-I.4UigaodoL'.' Nn nuiul>en to plnlct. 

* 8eo one publiabed by Sir R. Colt Uoare, 'Mutlcru Wiltshire,' iv. p. 57. 

Chap. VIII. 



fouui.1 also frequently in these islands, though I do ijot know if 
it occurs in Scandiuavia. Mr. Du Noyer proposed to call tliera 
" oarth-fiist dolmens,"' from one end of the caivstones always 
resting on the ground, the other only being sni^Kirted hy a pillar 
or block. At first sight it might appear that they were only 
imliuishe*! or imperfect dolmens, as it is more than probable tliat 
the mode of erection, in all instancfs, was to raise first one end of 
the cap-stone and then the other, as by this means the weight is 




Uaai'dalnKn. Frum U*li5. ' AotlqatUs du MorbiliM.' 

practically halved. If, however, any faith is to be placed in this 
representation of a monument by Male.* it is clear that it was 
a deliberate mode of getting rid of half the expt-nso and half 
the trouble of erecting a dolmen ecpulchre. Generally speaking, 
however, they are more like the one near Poitiers (woodcut 
No. 130), where the stone either rests at one end on a bank or on 
a flat space sloping upwards. Tiiose in Ireland and Wales seem 
all really to be only dcnii-dolnicns, and as economy would hardly 
be a motive in the good old times, 1 look upon them as probably 
a vory modern fonn of this class of monument, Tiiere is, indeed. 

' • Kilkenny Jodmal,' tliird Bcricc, 
vol. i. p. 40 el uijii. 

* I liavo not bec'ii the iiiuiiuuivul luy- 
Bt'lf. ii<ir ilu I kniiw any "ue who Unit, ltu(. 

I cannot believe it to be n pure invcu- 
tion. Too niurh aitvisa must nuU how- 
ever, be luiil u{>on it. 

Chap. VIII. 



tiiiit loug alter tliuir nominal convemott to Christianity tlie 
people^ woaM adhere to the forms so long practised by their 
auce^jtord, and tiiero appears to be no great reason why even the 
most bigoted priest slioiild objei't to it, provided the synibol of 
the cross mLide it quite clear that the '• p lor iiihabitftut below " 
died in the true faith. 

I have purposely refrained from sjieakiug of roeking stoneH, 
which play so important a pitrt in the i'uruiH of Druidic^il worsiiip 
invente<l by Stukeley, I5orbise, ami tlie aiitiiinarirs of the lust 
ceutui'V, because I believe that nine-tenths of those found in tliis 
country — if not all — are uietcly iialurul plit'iumiena. So far from 
l>eing surprised that tliis sh<iuld lie the ease, the wduUiT is that 
they are not more freipient where loose Ixmlders alwuml, either 
ice-borne or freed by the washing away of the underlying strata, 
That some of these sliouM rest in an iinstabh' eijiiiiibriinn i-asily 
di8turl)ed is only what might be expected, and (hat ttiey would 
also lie matters of marvel to the country jwople around is also 
natural ; but it does not follow from this that any priests purposely 
and designedly placed, or could [dace, rude stones in such positions, 
or that they ust'd them fur religious purposes. 

In France, however, there is one called the Pierre Martine, near 

f .^fr^- 


Ilorrc Mtrtine. 

Livernon, in the department of the Lot, whioh was designedly 
balanced, if any one was. Its general appeumnrc will be nnder- 



CuAH. VI I r. 

Btood from tLe preceding woodcut, taken froiti * La France iiiouit- 
mentale et pittoresKiue,' which corre«:tIy reprpsents its form and 
iijuiriirance.' The ciip-stone measures 22 iV'ct liy 11 fuot. and ia 
JO iiichfs iij thii.'knes8, and is so }jalancc'<l oii its two points of 
support that a 8h<^ht prcssnre of the hand is sutKcient to set it. 
• isfilhitin^ with a motirm \vhii*h it retains for some time.* 

Another and more (.elehrated one, in JSrittaiiy, uhieh is known 
as the Pierre branlaiite de Huelgoat, seems rather due to aeei<leut. 



Ilrrre BniuUnte, In Brtltany. 

It looks as it" it formed, or was intended to form, part of a denii- 
dohiien, hut happening to rest on one of its siipjiorts so as to 
otkiUate, it has been allowed to remain so. Even assumingjj 
however, that this was done designedly, wliat w«.ndd it provoj 
lieyond thi? desire whieh p«rvades*all these monuments, of ex- 
eiting jtstouishment by toura de force. I lielieve it is correct 
to say that no passage exists in any Ixjok ancient or medieval 
which mentions rocking stones or their uses; nor has anyone 

note Mxliur. Kruiii DunitetUti. 

' Tliere is « wimdout iu Bon> 
stcttpit's work (p. iS) wbii'li, 
)>fiDg tnkcii tiiiltrnys, cxpluiim 
more clearly how, the cii|>-stoiie 
renting on two |Mints only, it 
can }te un<loratu<.>(i to (>«<.'illultf. 
It 18, however, wiurh lone cor- 
Ti^-t as a r^presiiitation. 

' l)fl|iiiii, ' 8tiili«tiqiir rlu 
l><|>. ilu I,nl,' i. jt. 388. 

Chap, VI ir. 



been ttl>Ie to explain how they delivered thoir oracles. A certain 
push produced un o&eiUntioii, not fitful or irregular, Imt always 
in proportion to the force applieil; so the answer must always 
have Ifcon the same and alike tfi all people. A still more impnr- 
t-ant fart is that nowhere do the people appeal to them now. 
Neither at the Beltane nor at Halloween, nor at any of those 
festivals where country people revive every extinct superstition 
to aid thorn in prviuf; into ruturity, are these rocking stones 
apjioaled to ; and it seems almost iniposstlile that, when so nuuiy 
other superstitions have survived, this one shoidd be lost, and lost 
in prest^nee of the roeks Ihemsclves, which still remain. Wonders 
they certainly are, hut 1 fjuestirm much if they ever were appeakd 
to for any higher purpose than that of extracting sixpences from 
the pockets of gaping tourists. 

♦ Caknac. 

In a zone alnnit twenty miles in extent, stretching fiitm Erdevo^n 
on the north-west to Timiinc in a south-easterly dir«M.'tion, and 
nowhere more than five miles in width, there is to be found the 
most rnninrkabl<' group of megalitluV reuiuins, not only in France, 
but jK'rhaps in the whole world. Not only arc examples of every 
class of monument we have been describing, except circles, to be 
foiuid here, but they are larger and finer examples than are 
generally to be nut with elsewhere. Another point of interest 
also is that within the zone are found — if I am not mistaken — 
iHJth a cemetery and a battle-field. At least in the neighbourhood 
of Ix)cmariaker, which there seems no reason for doubting wivs 
the Dariorigum of the Romans, the capital of the Venetes in 
Caesar's times,' all the monuments are more or less sculptured, and 
all the stones fashioned, not to say hewn. On the other hand, no 
stone in the neighbourhcmd of Carnac is hewn, or even fashioned, 
beyond splitting, and no si'ulptures of any class have been traced. 
The di.«itinction is too marked to be accident^il, and unless it can 
be made out that they belong to different ages, which appears to 
me most improhnble, goes far to establish the conclusion at which 
we have arrived in previous chapters. 

' ' rtnlemwi Ovo.' Ariistcl. 1605, p. 47, 



Chap. VIH. 

To begin with the Carnaf monixmetit,' which is the liost known 
and the most iinport^uit. As will lx> spen by the woodcut on 
p. .^ri2, it consists of two sf-prtnitc^ ftlif^nnicnts, or groat stimo rows 
— one, that of Camac, extending for nuarly two miles in a direc- 
tion nearly east and west; the other, that of Erdeven, at a dis- 
tance of two miles and a half from that at Carnac, li*Mng little more 
than one mile in length. There is a third, Init smallpr. gnmp at St.- 
Barlje, about a mile and a half due sduth o( Enh-vcn ; an<l nnnierdus 
dolmens and tumuli are spread ut intervals all over the plain. 

In order to be understood, the Caruatr monument must again 
be subdivided into three portions. Beginning at Le Jlaeneo (tiie 
Stones), we have eleven rows of very line stones, measuring fmra 
11 feet to 13 feet in height fmni the groun<i, and still nearly 
perfect. Graduidly, liowever, tlicy liefome smaller and more 
sparse, till, when they reach the road from Auray to Cariwc, there 
are few of them that measure 3 feet in any direction, and 
some are stUl smaller. Shortly after passing that road the 
avpuues cease altogether, fur a distance of more than 300 yards, 
there Iwing nothing but a few natural lioulders in the interval 
lietween. M'heii, liowever, we reach tlie knull un wJiich the 
farm »if Kermario stands, the avenues reappear, this time only 
ten in iiuml»er. but perf('<-tly ri-guhir, and witli stones as large 
and as regularly spaced as those ut l^Iaenec- They diminish more 
and more in size, however, and almost die out altogether before 
they reach the mound (tumulus?) on which the windmill stands. 

I The only aurvey of this nionnment 
which has lufii publiahcii. .arxl can l« 
ilt'|ifuJi-d u|><"ii. IB that iuimU' by Mr. 
Vicars, a mirvryor of Exctcr, for th<* 
RfV. l>r. BftthiirHt Dpuiie. It was puh- 
liaht'd hy him on a mluccd sonle in 
vol. XXV. of llic ' Archwijogia,' niul re- 
fngjuvwl, with the jirincijial pnrteon the 
nriKiiial wulo. by Dr. Blair niiil Mr. 
Roualils, in the work lifforc bIIikI".-*! (o, 
lint unfortunutrly never j>ul>li(ibi-«l. The 
original map, nn a (Mml(! of -HO f«»ol in 
1 inch, in still in Dr. I VoneV ixmspusicm, al 
lliith, an<l is so valuablp n rts'onlnf what 
the monument was thirty-two years ngn 
that it is hnpol it miiy W pr^'srrved liy 
soin»' ]>iiblio iKuly. Bir Henry Dryden and 

the4ior. Mr. Lukiji have l)ocn employed for 
some years past exploring and surveying 
in that neiKhlKmrhmx], and have brought 
hack |>errcrt plans, on a large Bcale. of all 
the priiici]tal mnniiinentH ; and if theae 
were pu)ili8he<l, they would Ipavc little 
to l)e desirrnl in that respect. Mean- 
while nothing can exceed Sir HenryV 
kindnetig and lil>emlity in allowing nccena 
to hig treasures, and the ui<o of them by 
any one who desires it ; and I am in- 
debtotl to hira for a great deal of the 
information in this chapter. The general 
pbiMB here piibliHhed are from Mrssrs, 
Ulair aii<l Kimalds' work, whicli is qnite 
siifilcicntly correct for my aealc or ray 
present pnrp<ifle. 

I'HAP. viir. 



und aftf-r thnt become so small and sparsp thiit a stranger 
rilling across the line could hardly remark tbat they were arti- 
fic-iiilly disposed, but would morply regard it as a stony ■piece of 
land, Tliey a;;ain e.eii<u entirely before we reach the brrxdc, to 
reroramenco at Kerlosoant, where tliirteon rows are found ; l«it 
these are composed of stones of less dimensirms and more irregu- 
larly .spaf^cd than those at lMaeneo,and die nut much nmre rapi<lly. 
At a distjince of less than 5U0 yards frum tlie head of the column 
they disa[>iiear entirely. It may be sufjcgosted that these gaps 
arise from the stones having been removed for agricultural and 
other purposes. I think, however, that any one who carefully 
examines the sput will 1h' eouvinred that wo really now pussess 
all, or nearly all, that were ever placed here. They are thickest 
and best preserved in the village of Moenec, and at Kemiario, 
where buildings are most frequent, and they disappear exactly in 
those places where there are no buildings or wall'*, but where the 
ground is an open, barren heath, without roads, njid whence it would 
l»e very difficult to transport them; and in so stony a country it is 
very iinpntbaMe that the attcmjit would be made. Besides this, 
the gradual way in which they diminish in 8ize JH^forc disap]»caring 
shows a regularity of design, regarding which tliero can l>e no mis- 
take. In addition to this, the heads of tlie three divisions are all 
marked by monuments of diHcrent kinds, but which arc easily 
recognizable. At the head of the Maeuec division there is a 
curvilinear enclosure of smaller stones, none of them being more 
than G feet in height, but set much closer tugrthor than the 
rows (woodcut No. 130). It probtibly was once complete, und, 
if 80, joined the centre stone row. At Kcrmaiio, a dolmen 
stands in front of the alignment, not remarkable for its size, 
but conspieiitus from its position; and at Kerlescant there is a 
quadrangular' enclosure, three sides of which are coinposetl of 
stones of s^uallcr size ancl set closely together, like tliose at 
Maenec. The fourth side is formed by a turaulus or long 

' Thr^ foriii of tliiBenrlo8UTe,An will bo 
scrn frixn the iilnn, is not an exact Kqiiaro, 
itlid Hniiio of tho an;; le-gtont'S 1<rin;{ 
n-movod, it is ilifficnlt nnw to niio^rtairi 
itaoxoct fonii. Sir Henry Dryilcn mnkon 

it curvilineftr. Heesra. Rlnir and Ronalds 
ninke the past side qiiito Hlrni^ht; thf> 
south and west were slightly ourvilint-ar, 
Imt Iho wholp fijfuro is quu>lrun;;tilur : 
which \a my own iinprossioti of its form. 


— e 

< s 

z "^ 

o « 



_• •• • • 

.. . • . 


■ • • • a • ' 

• .•,•*.*.*.• KERMARIO V ^ 

' • ■ * • ' 

-•.'.•j'/V.*/ • •• 

-• • • •-•• 




oaiMKN <^ 


Cwfsr E/voJ 


. • • 

•••*••■•." '■ • 









u no 

(east end) 


100 400 IM) aoi 

•DO •oo loo* rjwr 

2 k. 




burrow. This was dug into i » 1 85 1 , by some persons with or without 
aul liofity ; but who thoy were, or what ihey found, is not recorded. 

Tlie luomiineiit a1 Er*lt'Von is very inferior in scale to th«t at 
Ciirnap, and phiiiiied on a different princijilt;. Instead of the heads of 
tlie division following one another, as at Carnac, they face outwards; 
and, like the fabled Amphisbena, this gi-oup has two Leads, one at 
eat'h end. The principal one is the western, where there is a groap of 
very large stones dose to the road, but rather c<iiifnsedly arranged. 
There seem to be nine or ten rows, and a row of large stonea branches 
off at right angles to the north. After extending about llK) yards 
the main coltimn dies out, and is resumed again at a distance of 200 
yards, in sniidler stones much more widely spaced. It is again and 
again so interrupted, that it is sometimes difficult to trace it till we 
come near the eastern end, whyro it resumes its regularity, possessing 
•iiglit well-defined rows of stones witnilnr ki those at the west end.' 

At the west end there can still be traced the remains of what 
was once a tumulus, and. beyond that, a single standing menhir. 
At the east end there is a tiunulus of a somewhat oval form, and 
in the centre, a hill, or riisiug ground, apparently natural, on which 
arc placed two dolmens ; and, south of the east end, a second hill 
or moiuid with two more similar monuments. 

It is not easy to guess whether tlie liu>'s of St.-Barbe were ever 
more complete than we now tind them. My own impression is 
that we have thera now very nearly as originally completed. The 
head facing the west seems to have been intended for a curvilinear 
enclosure simihir to tliat at jMaorioc, but is now, at least, very 
incomplete. Its mtist remarkable featuie is the group of stones at 
itn head (woodcut No. 137), two of «]iieh are the largest and 
finest blocks in the neighbonrhood. The farthest away in the 
view is 19 feet long by 12 feet broad, and 8 feet thick; the other, 
seen in the foreground, even exceeds it in dimonsinna. Whether 
these are like the Coflfin stones at Aylesford, or the two stones 
found among tlie stone rows at Dartmoor, or have, indeed, any 
separate meaning, must be left to hn determined when we know more 
of the general scheme on which these monuments were [ilanncd. 

» Sir Henry I*ry ItO onurifs ten mwi. Mr. Vfcnrs'siurey, rrom which the wiKideiit 
is copied, ranki-x only eight. Their irregrilnrity makes it ilinieiilt tn I'eil turtiiiu on 
Etich It |>oiii<. 

chai-. viir. 



Tlicre is notliing at present but jiixtopositiDn to justify us in 
conuertins; these great stone rows with tho smaller groups of 
etoues and the doliuens or tumuli which stud the j:)lain where 
they are found. In respect to these, what we find at Camac seems 
tlie exact converse of what exists at Stonehenge and Stennis. 
There the great stone luonumenis stand among the pigmy barrows 
of another race and age. Here all are niegalithic and all seem to 
have b?en ei-ceted nearly at the same time, and to belong to fine 
people, whoever they may eventually Ix^ ]>rnve<l to have been. In 



U«id ul Culumn at Sc.-IUrbe. Frona itemn. Blair tDd Kviiuli]d %t>tk. 

BO far as any argument as to their age is coucerneil, it is at present 
of little importance whether this is so or nut, fur they iire all 
erpudly uncumniuuicative on this subject. 

One of the tumuli known as Mont St.-Michel, is so situated 
with respect to the Maenec row that it seems impossible to 
dissociate the two. It was opened by M. Rend Galles iu 1802, 
and an account of his researches, in the form of a report t<i the 
Pr^fet, was published shortly afterwards. The mound itself, at 
its has*', is nearly 4U0 feet in length by half that dimension in 
width. In modern times its summit has been levelled, to form 
a platform for the church which now occupies its eastern 
summit. In front of the church, M. Gnlb-s Mink a shaft n«'ar 

'1 K '1 




the centre of tho luuund, and came upon a sepulchral chamber 
of irregular form, the side walls of which were formed of very 
irregular and bad masonry of small stones, similar to that of the 
dolmens at Crubelz. Its mean dimensions were about C feet by 
5 feet, and 3 feet G inches in height. In it were found some magni- 
ficent celts of jade and tribolite, nine pendents in jasper, and 101 
beads in jasper, with some in turquoise, all polished and pierced so as 
to form a necklace. The human remains in the principal cell seem 
utterly to have perished, owing probably to the continued penetra- 
tion of water since, at least, the levelling of the summit, though 
some bones were subsequently found in a small chamber adjoining. 

On the north side of the avenue at Kcrlesoant. at a distance of 
about 100 puces from it, is a second long barrow, consequently 
occupying the same relative position to it that Mont St.-Michel 
does to that at Muenec. It is so similar in external appeaniuco 
and general arrangement to tliat forming the north side of the 
enclosure, whicli tenuinates the avenue, that there can be little 
doubt of their being of the same age and forming part of the same 
general arrangement. It had been opened some twenty yeara ago 
by a gentleman residing at Carnae,but was re-examined in 1867 by 
the Kev. W. C. Lukis.^ 

In the centre lie found a long rectangular chamber, mejisuring 
52 feet in length by 5 feot in width internally, and divided into two 

t/^nt Barruw al Kcrl<f«ut, 

equal compartments by two stones cut away in the centfe.'so as to 
leave a hole 1 foot G inches wi<le by 3 feet high. A similar but 
smaller hole esiijts on the sideband is identical with those found in 

' Journal nf Arckieoloiticdl AuocUtion,' vol. sxiv. p]i. 40 «( t&iq. 

VH\f. viir. 





Uulc twiwrrD Two Stontt at KtrlrMvct.' 

the long baiTows at Kmliuarton nnd Avening in (.Jlourestersbiro.' 
Ulr. Lukis.aniougothor 
things, found an im- 
mense q mi u I i t y o f 
lu'okeu pottt-ry, sonic 
of very fine quality. 
Two vases whicli lie 
was enabled to rc^store* 
are interesting from 
their general resem- 
blance to the two 
which Mr. Bateman 
found in Ark>r Low (woodcut No. 31). Though not exactly the 
same in forna, there 
can be little doubt 
that they belong 
to the same age. 
,\l)out H mile 
from this pxamjilo, 
Mr. Lukis um-ii- 
tions a still larger 
one. It taeasiires 
81 feet m length 
by feet in widtli, is divided into two compartments like the one just 


><» • 
'•tf • 

' Anle, pp. 16S tl teq. 

' It U go difficult to realise thrso 
HimilAriticii, exwpt hy rppn'Ofnta- 
ti'in, Ibftt [ give hoK n womlcut of 
thnt at Hodmartnn. .\ll<>witi^ fur 
IIr' diflVrent'i? of drawing und on- 
gmving. thp o|H'ninR8 ore i<U;iitical, 
Mid it 18 «o [K-ciiliiir in fonn that 
the liki'iu-H8 i-ikunnt Vm iirridcntal. 
If it tinea not iiccur uiiywlifre el«>, 
<ir at any ntln'.r time, it |>rove», n« 
far as anything can prove, thut the 
FrPMc'h iind English luni; loirrow* 
wcrt' crectt'd imdrr llie «n,mc inspi- 
inti<in. If "lie is [■r)8t-It<:'iuon, »i», 
wiftninly, in the itthnr; or if ono <>an 
be proved to Ik.* prehiatorie, tlie other 
intiBt follow. 



Knlrana lo 0>ll, Ibjduuuditi. 



Chat. VIII. 

dei?oribe(J, autl has also a holed entrance. He also measured two in 
Finistere, one 70 feet, the other 60 feet, in length, and both 6 feet 
wide. Bi>th» however, had been rifled long ago, and «re now mevQ 
ruins. Jloro, no doidjt, wuuld be ioimd it' looked for. Indeed, these 
straight-lined "allees courertes," or "Grottes des f6es" without 
cells, as the French call them, as before mentioned, are the most 
characteristic, if not tin; most common, fonn of French rude-stone 
monument'?. The only other jilace where they are equally common 
is Drentho, atnl it may he tliut tliis side hole at Kerlescant is an 
appunirh to the side entrance so iisnal in that province. 

At riouharnel, about a mile and a half we.stward from Mout 
St.-]Mi(rhel, a duiiMn dolmon was opened a good many years ago. 
In it were found some beautiful gold ornaments, others in bronze, 
and some celts or stone axes in jnde' — all these, like those of 
Mont St.-SIichi'l, belonging evidently to what antirjuaries call 
the latest period of the Polished Stone iige; but until it is 
detcrinined wliat that age is, it does not help us much to a date. 

To the U(trth of Kerlescant, at ulxiiit the distuuee of half a mile, 
is another long barrow, called Moustoir or Mnustuir-Carnac, wliich 



H»n ur Mmuituir-Caniar. 


S.Tt'on of MvU)(oir LUnuc Krum ' .^^illllJlr^'' liy Unit Oidlrs. 

was ojMJtied in 18(j5, also by 31. Reu^ Guiles. It was found to 

' Tlu.iif> Krrf (^xhil'itu)! in the iab in the village whvn I was tbrro. Wbem Hxvj 
iiro now, I ilo not know. 

Chap. VI J I. 



.Si«tliin of ammlvr U of 

contain Ibiir separate interments, disiiereod aloug its leiigtJj, wliiok 
exceeds 280 feet, tbe height \jiiyiug iVoni 15 to 20 feet. The 
western chamber is a regular Jul«ien, of tlie class calleil "Grottes 
des fees," and is apparently the oMest of the group. The centre 
one (b) is a very irregular ehuoiber, the plan of which it is 
difficult to make out; tbe third (c) is a dolmen, irregular in 
plan, but rool'ed with three large atones; but the fourth {d) is u 
circular clumibcr, tlie walls of which 
are formed of tolerubly large stoues. 
the roof being built up into the 
farm of a horizonttd dome (woodcut 
No. 144), by stones [irojefting and 
overlapping, instead ol" the siujplfr 
ceiling of single blocks as on all tbe 
earlier monuments. This, as well as the walls, being built with siiiall 
stones, I take to be a certain indication of a more inoderu age. 
A considerable number of flint inipieuients were found in the 
western chamber, with some beads aud a partially jiiercod cylinder 
in si'rpentino, but no coins, nor any object of an age which can be 
positively dated. Here, however, these troublesome Boman tiles 
make their appearance as at Crubelz. " Iii, commo ii Mane er 
H'roek, nous trouvons lea traces caracterisliqiies du conqueraut 
(les Koinains) : des tuiles a rebord ont croidu, au pied de notre 
bntte funeraire, et plusieurs nifitne so sont glissees a travMrs les 
couchi'S superieures des pierres, qui fonnent uub partie de la 
masse." ' 

If these monuments are really prehistoric, it is to mo incom- 
prehensiblo that these traces of the Homans should be so generally 
prevalent in their structure. If it is objected that these are not 
found in the chambers of the tombs themselves, the answer seems 
only too evident that hardly one of theui is virgin: all, or nearly 
all, have been entered before tlie time of recent explorei's, aud all 
their more valuable contents removed. Celts and beads aD<l stone 
implements were not likely to attract the attt^ntion of early 
p Q fere rs, and these they left; but exce|«t in the instance of the 
Bepuhdire at I'louharncl, metal is very rarely found in any. But 

' ' Buviie nrchi'otngiqui',' xii. p. 17. 


ciiAf. vin. 

the presence of Koman pottery, or other evidence of that people, 
in the long barrows iu Gloucestershire, at Kennet, and at Caruac, 
are too frequent to be acc-i<ientttl. Iu so far as proving that the 
monument is not prehistoric, tlu? presence of a single fragment 
of Roman pottery iu as conclusive as a hoard of coins would be, 
provided it is found so placed that it could not have been iu8erte<l 
there after the moiiiid wna complete; and this I fancy is the case 
in all the instances mentioued above. 


It b rather to be regretted that no good survey exists of this 
cemetery. Not that much depends on the juxtaposition of the 
monuments, but that, as the French are continually changing 
their names, and most of them have two, it is not always easy to 
feel sure which mouumeut is being spoken of at any particular 
time. Those on the mainland are situated in a zone about a mile 
in length, running north and south, between Man^ Lud, the 
most northern, and Mane er H'loek, the must smitliern. The 
first-uume<i in a long barrow, 2(J0 feet by about 165, but not, as in 
England, of one age or containing only one, but, like Moustoir- 
Carnac, several sepulchres, which may either Iw of the same age 
or erected at difierent though hardly distant periods, and joined 
together by being buried umier one great mound. Of the three 
which Mane Lud contains, the most interesting is the partially 
covered dolmen at the west end. It consists of a chamber of 
somewhat irregular form, but measuring 12 feet by 10 feet, and 
covered by one eiiornioui block of stone, measuring 2i) feet by 
15 feet, and with a passage leading to it, making the whole length 
from the entrance to the central block of the cliambiir 20 feet. 
According to Mr. I-'crgusou.' five of the bhicks of this dolmen are 
sculptured; according to 51. llene Gallos,*nine are so ornamented. 
The stone, however, is so rough and the place so dark that it is 
(lifTiouU at times to distinguish them and always so t«) draw them. 
Tile principal objects represented seem to be intended for boats 

' ' Proccmliuga of R^ynl Iriuli AcadMoy,' vol. viii. I80t, p. 298 r< »eqq. 
'lioTuc Mchw>^l^ri^|U(^■ vul. J. I8ft4. pi. iv. 

Chap. Vdf. 





SciiliV.iui! lit Muni- LuJ. 

ai)fl hntcliets, but tliere are otluT litjuii'fi wliitOi oaiimit be 80 
classed, nnd, tliough it may be rash to 
call them writing, they may mean num- 
bers or cyphers of some sort. Tlieir great 
interest i.s, however, their similarity to 
the engravings on Irish monuments. If 

any one will, for instance, compare this .' UIuJl-Iiil.T!!' 'I\^ 
wooclcut (No. 140) and vvoodt^ut No. 68 
from New Grange, lie can hanlly fail 
to see a likenesa which cannot well be 

accidental; and in h'ke manner tlie curvilincnr fi.nns of womlcitt 
No. Uti, in a munner hardly to be _ _^ 

ntistaken, resemble those from Clover 
Hill (woodcut No. 77). 

Close by Mane Lud, but a little 
nearer to Locmariakor, stands wliat 
niay be considered ns tlie un.)st inte- 
resting, if not the finest, free-standing 
dolmen in France. Its ronf eonsi.sts 
of two stones: one of these measures 
IS feet by 9 feet,* and more than 3 feet in thickness. The second 
stone is very much smaller, and seems to form a sort of porch 

14S Sculplun? ut Mniiu l.iul.i 

rr.i ,■.,! , ,1 


_.,•--'' "'' - ^ 



view or Dot ar M&rchiinL I rcini llUIr nni RoniM. 

to it. The great stone rests, like that of most free-standing 

' Woolcut* No. 145 and 146 are I * Thew <liim>ngiona ore from tCichnrd : 

CDpitnt fniiii Mr. ForK'tmoii'H |>np»>r in the other iMithoritiog ninko it 18 (Vrt liy I'i 

' l'riM'it4Hliti|;8 of Uii)ul Irish Ai-iwlemy,' I f«*t, 

viii. 3l)S' tt ttqq. I 



ClIAl'. Vlll. 

dolmens, on three points, tlioir an.'hitect8 Imving early learned 
hnw (tirtk-ult it was to make sure of their resting on more ; so that they wiiiiled a wall ta kot-p out tliu stuff out of which the 
tuitiulus wtis to be coinj)Ojr(J, tliey geueruUy poised them on three 
points like that at Castle Wellau (wo<5Jcut No. 7). 

Tlie great interest in this dolmen, however, lies in its scnlp- 
tures. The stone whi<']i closfs tlie east end is shaped into the fonn 
of two sides of an eipiihiteral spherical triangle and covered with 
sculptures, which this time are neither characters nor repre- 





End StuM, 

Htt. lUkb'l III mot uf 
IXil ar MsicImiiI 

sentations of living things, but purely decorative. At one time I 
thought tln! form of a cross could be traced on the stone. The 
central jstem and the upper arm are shown clearly enough in the 
drawing by Mx. Ferguson; but all the drawings show a lower 
cross-arm — though I confess I did not sec it — whicii quite destroys 
this idea. On the roof n welhsculptureil plumed ' liatchet can 
be traced very distinctly, as shown in tlie woodcut copietl from 
Mr. Ferguson. He fancies he can also trace the fortu of a plough 
in the sculptures of the roof, but this seems doubtful. 

' 'riif c-si8U>noe uf tbe pluine ia doubted by Sir Hc^iirj Dn-ilcu. and br< ia an 
noiMimto tiuit lu' proliablr ia riRbt : l>nt ae lAhcn tny lhi<) linvc mhmi it', nnii tiotbitig 
dcficndiii u|Ki(i it, I hn?<' nlt<i\vn(l it lo n-iiiait). 




It is to tliis doltiien that the great fallen olxjlisk belongs. If it 
was one stone, it measured 64 feet in length and 13 feet across 
its greatest diameter; but I confess I cannot, from the mode in 
whicli it lias fallen, rid myself uf the idea that it was in reality two 
obelisks, iind uut one. Wliethor this was the case or not, it is a 
remarkable work of art for a rude peojdo, for it certainly has been 
shaped with care, and with the same amount of labour might have 
been made square or rouud or any other 8ha|>e tliiit might have 
been desired. This, however, is one of the pecnliarities of the 
style. No one will dispute that this obelisk and the stones of 
the Dol ar lilarchant are hewn; but instfud of adopting the geo- 
metrical forms, of which we are so fond, tliey preferred those that 
reminded them of their old rude monuments, and which to their 
eyes were more beautiful than the straight lines of the Romans. 
I <1o nut feel quite sure that artistically they were not right. 

If we compare tiiis dolmen with that at Krukeuho (woodcut 
No. 120), the difference between them appears very striking. The 
Dol ar 3Iarchant is a regular tripod dolmen, carefully built of 
shaped stones and engiaved. The other is a magnilicent cist, 
walled with rude slones, aud such as would form a chamber in a 
tumulus if burit'd in one, though whether tins particular example 
was ever intended to be so treated or not is l>y no means clear. 
Be this as it may, there are two modes of ancouutiug for the 
diflferenoe between two monuments so nearly alike in dimeusious 
aud situated so near to one another. The first would be to assume 
that the Krukeuho example is (he oldest, it being the rudest and 
a|)proaching more nearly to the primitive form of the monuments: 
the second would be to assume that the one was the memorial 
of some warrior, erected in haste on the battle-tield where he fell, 
by his companions in arms ; and that the otiier was a royal sepulchre, 
prepared at leisure either by tlie king himself or by those who 
succeeded him in times of peace, aud con!<equently who had 
Icisitre for such works. We must know more of these monuments 
before a satisfactory clnjice can be mude between these two 
hypotheses. At present I rather incline to the belief that the 
circumstances under which they were erected may have more to 
do with tlieir difterences than their relative ages. 

To return to Locmariiiker. Cli»se to the town there is, or was, 



fllAI'. VIII. 




>■' -J 

f ^ 



a long alJ^s couverte.' It is 70 fi^et long, and divideil towaitlg its 
inner end into a square chamber, to wliicli a long sliglttly curved 
gallery led, composed of fourteen stones on each side. Five of 

these are covered with omsiraents, nnd 
characters engraved on them. One 
might be considered as representing the 
leaf of a fern, or jiossibly ix paira ; the 
rest are ovals, circles, and similar 
ornaments, wliich may or may not 
have nuire meaning than those at 
New Grange or other monuments in 
the locality. 

Ou the other side of the village 
is the tumulus already mentioned aa 
Man^ or H'roek, where the twelve 
Ivoniun coins were found, and inside it 
an immense collection of polished celts, 
hut all broken, and one slab, which 
a|)pnreutly originiilly closed the do«^r, 
anJ is covered with seul]ilnre(l hatchets, 
similar in character to thut on the roof 
of the Dol ar ISInrchant, but not so 
carefully dniwn nor so well engraved. 
BesidcvS tbese there are several — pro- 
bably as many as a dozen — monuments of the same class, within 
what niuy lairly he considered the limits of this cemetery; but of 
these the most interesting, aa well as the m<i8t perfect, is that on 

the island of Gavr 
Tunis, about 2 miles 
eastward from Lo<'- 

Tiie plan of the 
chamber of this mo- 
nument will be nn- 
derstood froni the 



ISO, Sluiii' foiiml ln>lde Clumlirr It 
M»n* «r H'rtKJk, 


Plan of Osvr Iiinb. 

' It was in a very ruinous state when I 
»nw it five yean ago ; and tlK-rc is ait 
oinitiuiii) aili-iifc- rr-fl:nnlitig it uiunng: sub- 

sequent touriists. The iiK-auiircmcnta 
lii^re quoted ari' from Ridianl, ' Fmmv 

Chai'. VJII. 



ftnuexeil i>luii.* Tlie giillery of eutrance measures -l-t foet from 
where the lining stones begiu to the chamber, which is qiiiul- 
fftngular in form, and measures 9 feet by 8 feet. All the six stones 
formt!i;i: the throe sides of the chamber, and most of those 
which line the entrance on eitlier hand, are most elaborately 
seulptured with patterns, the cliaracter of which will be under- 
stood from the annexed wootlcuts. The pattern, it will be observed, 
is not 80 tlowiu;^ or graceful as those found at New Grange or 
Dowtb, and noAvhere, 1 believe, can it bo saiil to imitate vegetable 



IS^ Sculptura Kl 0«TT Inala. fi > . I'y 

Sir Hmry DryJen.' 

ailviivxlug by Sir Henry I'rjtlrn. 

foriQs; and in the woodcut on the left-hand stone are some 
seventeen or eiji;liteeu figures, which are generally supposed to 
represent celts ami probably do so; but if they do. from their 
pf)sition they must mean something more, cither numbers or 
names, but, whatever it may be, ita meaning has not yet been 
guessed. On other stones there are waving lines, which are very 
generally assumed to represent serpents, and, I believe, correctly 
80 ; but as that is somewhat doubtful, it is as well to refrain from 
citing them. Besides these, the general pattern is circles within 

The jilnn here- givpti is rpdu«>tl from first on tlio spot, nDil uflorwurda cot- 

onu by Sir Uenry Drydon, unil iiiny l»e 
pcrfiM!tly ilr|*udi'it iipun oh tar lus tlio 
Hmalliir'Hil (if th(< s(-a!i> will all'iw. 

' Sir lli'in-y ilrow ull the»o 8(;ul|jlurc<a dnpondcd ttpon. 

nHJtod Ilia drawings from tln> costs nt 
St.-Geniiain. They urc tin.- only ilruw* 
ini^B existiiij; which ran thoroughly bo 



Chap. VIII. 

circles, and flowing lines uearly equiilistant, lnit, except on one 
Btone, never of spimls; and then lesa graceful than the Irisli. Tlie 
sculpture, however, on some of the stones at Lough Crew, and 
that in the centre espcciiilty of woodcnt No. 7;", is absolutely 
ideiitiral with the patterns found here ; arnl altogether there is 
more similarity between these seuljttiires and those at Lough 
Crew than between almost any other monuments of tiie class that 
I know of. 

In the chamber on tlie left-hand side is a stone (woodcut 
No. iriH), with three holes in it, which liavo given rise to an 
unlimited amount of sj>iH'iihitioii. (iiMRivilly it is assumed that 
it was here that the Druids tied up the hunsan victims whom they 
were about to sacriBce. But, without going back to the question as 
to whether there ever were any Druids in the ilorbihan, would any 
priest choose a small dungeon 8 feet st|iiare anil absolutely dark for 
the performance of one of their greatest and ludst solemn rites? 
So far as we know anything of human sacrifices, they were always 
performed in the open day and in the presence of multitudes. 
Assuming for the moment, however, that these hohs Avero intended 
for some such purpose, two would luivo sufliced, and these of a 
form much simpler and more easily cut. As will lie seen from 
the woodcut, not only are the three lioleH joined, but a ledge 
or trough is sunk buhnv them which might ludd oil or holy water» 
and must, it npjieurs to me, have been iutendoJ for some such 

The existence of these holes seems to set at rest another ques- 
tion of some interest. Generally it has been assumed that the 
tattooing on the stones of the chambers, &c., may have been done 
with stone implements. This cannot bo denied, though it seems 
improbable; but the undercutting of the passages lietwecu these 
holes and the formation of the trough could only be effected by 
a tool which would bear a blow on its head, and a heavy one too, 
or, in other words, by some well-temix?red metal tool. 

At Tumiae, opposite Gavr Innis, existed a very large luinnlna, 
which was opened in ISb'.i by Messrs. Fouquet and L. Galles. It 
was found to contain a small chaml)er, partly formed of large slabs, 
partly of small stones. Some of the former had rudo carvings 
upon them, but without any meaning that can now be made out. 

Chap. VIII. 



The whole Iiae the appearance of being considerably more niodfrii 
than Gavr InuiH. 




Besiiles these, in the neighbourhaoii of Carnac and Loc- 
marinker, there are at lenst tlirce atlier ^'lonps of stones in France 
which deserve mufJi more attention than has liitherto been bestowed 
upon them. The first is in the peninsula of Crozon, forming the 
son them side of the roadstead of Brest. It consists, araong others, 
of three alignments of stones. The principal one is at a place 
called Kerdoiiadee, and consists of a single line of stones 1600 
f<'et in length, arrnnged on n slightly curved plan, and terminating 
in a curious " Swas<ica"-like cross. The second, at Carraaret, is a 


I single line, 000 feet long, and with two branches at right angles 

I to it, near its centre. The third, at Lenrc. is likewise a single 

I line with a sliglit t-lbow in the centre, from which starts a short 

^—^ branch at right angles.' 

^H I am not able to offi-r a conjecture what tliese alignments repre- 

sent, nor why or when they were placed here. Whether an 
inspection on the spot might suggest some clue is not clear, bnt 
they are so unlike anything found anywhere else, either in France 
or any other country, that they must for the present, I fear, 
remain a mystery. 

The second group, known as the fJre de Cojou, is situated about 
halfway between IJeimes and Redon. The remains here consist of 



O 600 lOOO 

i I I L_ I I 1 J— J J I 

illlfcnninitt al Croion. 

8000 rr 

' A plftn of the ftrat-namcd alignment gram hy Sir Henry Dryden in the last 

waapuhlialiedliy l''rpiiiinvillo,'Piniiit&rp,' num})er of tlie ' Journal of the Antlirop. 

part ii- \>\. l, hut thp ul»>v«? ptirtiiMilara Inst.' He hoa iicrfuct plana of th" 

and thi! \riKKli'iit arc liikoi fmiii a dia- whnlo. 



Chap. VUL 

a short double aliguraeiit some 500 feet long, several tumuli — one 
at least surmounted by a circle of stones— several stone enclosures, 
and frequent deilmens. They have been imperfectly described by 
M. Ranie,' and jdauiied, but not jmblislunl, by 8ir Henry I ryden. 
Until these are given to the world more in tletail tVian has hitherto 
been done, it is impossible to say whether they represent a battle- 
field or a ceiucter)'. From their position — a bleak, barren heath, 
far from any centre of population — I would g^uess the former ; but 
I have not visited the place myself, and the information at my 
command is too meagre to enable rae to speak with any confidence 
regarding them. 

Tlie third group is in the department of the Lot, near Preissae, 
in the parish of Juuies, and extends over half a mile (800 metres) 
in length. Unfortunately we have nothing but verbal descriiv 
tions of it, and from these it is imiios^ible to realise its form, or 
predicate its de.sii nation.^ We are, indeed, iu a state of great 
ignorance with regai-d to all these megalithic remains in the south 
of France, but as they seem as important and as numerous as 
those in the north, it is to be hoped some one will devote an 
autumn to their illusfration. There are probably several other 
groups as imi>ortaut as those at Junies, but they arc quite 
unknown to us at present. These groups therefore be put 
aside for the present, and any argument regarding age or use 
of this class of monuments must be based wholly on what we 
know of those of the Morbihan. 

So far as I know, no reasonable tradition attaches to any of the 
monuments in the Locraariuker cemetery which would enable us 
to fix their dates with anything like certainty, nor are there any 
local circumstances, except the Itoman coins and tiles above 
alluded to, which aid us in our researches. We are thus left to 
such general inferences as the case admits of, ond to a comparison 
wilh other similar monuments whose dates are nearer and better 
ascertained. No one, however, who is familiar with the two great 
cemeteries of Meath will probably hesitate in admitting tliat the 

' ' B<3VUL' an-hifolrtgiqae,' new «eric«, ix. [tp. 81 et teqq. I may mention that almost 
t'vwy oUw-r uamt; iu their ucighbonrhootl «iuln in iie. Sec * Jdauiii-t AtlM,' dep. Ilk- 
i't-Vil»int!. ' Delpfin, ' SUtiatiijue du Dcp. du Lut,' i. SSi. 

Cbap. viri. 



two groups cannot be far separated in date. Of course, it is 
impossible in a general work like the present to put the evidence 
forward in anj'thiug like a compk'te state. In order to do this in 
a satisfactory manner would require a large volume to itself, and 
the iilustratiuns both of the French and Irisli examples should be 
drawn by the same person. Even the few illustrations that have 
been given are probably sufficient to show a similarity so great 
that it can hardly bo accidoutul, and I may bo allowed to add, 
from pereoual familiarity with botli groups of monuments, that it 
seems impossible to escape tlie conviction that they are monu- 
ments of tbe same class, probably of the same or a closely allied 
race, and of about the same age. This hist must always bo the 
most uncertain premiss of the three, as we can scarcely hope ever 
to know the relative state of civilization of tbe two countries at a 
given time ; and consequently, even if we could prove that two 
ornaments in the two countries were identical in form, this would 
not prove that there might not be a diflerenoe of fifty or a hundretl 
years between them. Even at a later age, in the thirteenth cen- 
tury, for instance, the same form and the same style in France 
and England did not prevent a diflerenoe of fifty years existing 
between any two examples. In the fourteenth the two were 
abreast, and in the fifteenth century they again diverged, so that, 
although the architecture of Ixith was still Gothic, a comparison of 
style for this purpose became almost impossible. 

In like manner, though the central ornament in the middle 
Stone at Lough Crew (woodcut No. 75) is almost i<lentscal with 
flcune of the ornaments at Cavr Innis (woodcut No. 152), it 
by no means necessarily follows that the two are exactly of the 
same age. So, too, tbe foliage at New Grange (woodcut No. 67) 
and that in the allee — now, I fear, destroyed — at Locmariaker are 
evidently of one style, but still admit of a certain latitude of 
date. On the whole, judging from style alone, I should feel 
inclined to range Gavr Innis rather with the cemetery at Lougli 
Crew than with that on the l^oyno; as well from its ornaments as 
because I fancy that those monuments which are roofed with Hat 
stones only are earlier than those which make some attempt at 
construction. But, on the other band, I believe that Mane er 
ll'roek and Mane Lnd may more probably range with New Grange 

2 B 



Chap. Vlll. 

and Dowtli ; and aa I look upon it as quite certain that tlip 
monuments on the Boyne were all erected in the first four cen- 
turies uftor the birth of Christ, it seems impossible that the agaij 
of tJiose at Locniariaker can be very distant from that date. 

To uiany it will no doubt seem improbable that these monu- 
ments sliould have been erected duritin; tlie occupation of the 
country by <li« Komaiis. If, however, they wtitdd Ijdie the trouble 
of studyinj.; what is now going on iu India, their incredulity 
would, I fancy, soon disappear. The natives there at the present 
day are in many parts of the country building temples which it 
requires a practised eye to di.-'tiiigtitsh from those erected before 
any European settled in the land; and they follow their own 
customs, and worship their own gods, utterly irrespective of, and 
uninfluenced by, the strangers who have held the chief sway in 
the country for more than a hundred years. It must al.'so be 
borue in mind that the Romans never really settle<l in Brittany. 
The country was poor then ajs now, and it led to iiowliere. So 
long as the Bretons remained quiet, the Itomaus seetn U) have 
left theiu to themselves, and ceitaiuly have left no traces of any 
establi-shuiont of importance in their country — nothing that would 
lead us to suspect such intimate relations with the natives as 
would induce them to cluinge their faith or fasliions and copy the 
institutions of the foreigners. 

On the other hand, it seems not only possible, but probable, 
that intercourse with tlie Romau-s may lirst have inspired the 
inhabitants of Brittany with a desire to attain grejiter durability 
and more muguilieeuce, by the employment of stone, instead of 
earth or wood, for their monuments. This they might do, without 
its creating in their miuds the smallest desire to copy either 
Roman forms or Houiaii institutions. On the contrary, we have 
every reason to l>elievo that iu these remote districts the Romans 
would be hated as conquerors, and that their religion and their 
customs would be held in abhorrence as strange and unsJiitod to 
the land they nroupied. 

Be this as it may, a comparison with the Irish examph-R 
reduces the questions at issue with reganl to dates within very 
narrow limits. Either these monuments wero erected imme- 
diately before or during the tiute of the Roman occupation or 

Chap, VI (T. 



iiniiiediiitely tiftor (heir tlepurturc-, Imt prior tn tliR louvereioii 
nl' the natives to Cliristiaiiily. We are not yet in a position lo 
decide positively between these two hypotheses, but the presence 
of Komun eoius and Roiniin tiles in some of the iiiouu<1m and the 
whole aspect of tlio arguiueiit seem to lut; to incline the balance 
in favour of their belonging lo Koman times. Borne may be 
anterior to the Cliristian era, but I am very much mistaken if 
it be not eventually admitted that tlie ;;rca(er number of thtm 
are subsequent to that t-pn-h. 

Even, however, if the age of the monuments of the cemetery of 
Locmariaker could be ascfrtained, it would by no means neces- 
sarily carry with it that of the stone rows at Carnac. They 
belong to a differout category altogether, ami muy be of a 
diffexent age. 

No one now, I presume, after what has been said tiLove. espe- 
cially with reg.ird to the Scuudiiiavijin esam]i!es, will think it 
necessary that I s!iould go over the i^romul to jti-ove that they are 
not tempjea. Every argument that could be adduced to prove that 
Avebury or Stonehenge ore not temples U'\h with tenfold force 
here. A temple extending over six or seven miles of country is 
more improbable than one covering only 28 acres. Tliis one, to<i, 
ia ojien everywhere, and has no enclosure or '' teraeuos " of any 
sort, and there being uu uneven uumljer of I'fjuatly spaced rows 
of stones in the principal nioumnent is .sulHcient to show it was 
not intended and could not be used for processions. In fact I 
hardly know of any proposition that appears to me so manifestly 
absurd as tliat these stone rows were temples, and I feel sure 
that no one who thinks Iwieo of the matter will velitnre again 
lo affirm it. 

It seems equally clear that they were not erected for any civic 
or civil purpose. No meetings could be held, and no adminis- 
trative functions could be carried on in or around tliem. Nor are 
they sepulchral in any ordinary sense of the term. In the first 
place because, tliougli men weie buritiil in tumuli or ujider dolmens, 
or had single head-stones, nowhere were men buried in rows 
like this, extending over miles of heath and barren country. But 
the great fact is that the French savants have dug repeatedly 
about these stones and found no trace <»f burials. The most 

2 B -Z 



CnAr. Vlll. 

conclusive exporimout of the sort was made by a road surveyor 
some But or seven years ago. Wishing to raise the road from 
Auray to Carnac, ho dug out the sand and gravel on the east side 
of the road, over a considerable area> to a depth of from throe to 
four feet; but being of a conservative turn of miin], he left the 
eleven rows of stones each standing on a little pillar of sand. It 
was then easy to trace the undisturbed strata of dillerently coloured 
earth round and almost under the stones, atid to feel i)r:'rfect!y 
certain that it had never been disturbed by any inhutnatiou. It, 
no doubt, is true that the long barrow at Kerlescant, the dolmen 
at Kennario, and the enclosure at Maenec, may have been, indeed 
most probably were, all of them, burying-plaees, but they can no 
more be considered the monument than the drums and fifes can be 
considered the regiment. They are only the adjuncts ; the great 
rows must be considered as essentially the raouumeuts. 

If, therefore, they are neither temples, nor town-halls, nor even 
sepulchres, wo are driven back on tlie only remaining group of 
motives which, so far as I know, ever induced mankind to expend 
time and labour on the erection of perfectly unutilitarian erections. 
They must be trophies — the memorials of some great battle or 
battles that at some time or other were fought out on this plain. 
The fact of the bead of each division being a tomb is in favour of 
this hypothesis; but if it is considered us the jTincipal part, it is 
like drawing a jackdaw with a peacock's tail — an absurdity into 
which these men of the olden time would hardly fall. 

It is more difficult to answer the questions. Are Carnac and 
Erdeven parts of one great design, or two separate monuments ? 
Is Carnac the march. St.-Darbe the position before the battJe, 
Erdeven the scene of the final struggle for the liL-ights that gave 
the victory, and the tombs scattered over the plain between 
these alignments the graves of those who fell in tliat fight ? Such 
appears to me the only feasible explanation of what we here find ; 
but the great question still remains, What fight? 

Tliere is, probably, nu single instance in which the negative 
argument derived from the silence of the classical authors applies 
with such force as to this. If these stones existed when Ciesar 
waged war against the Vencti in this quarter, he must have seen 
them, and as it may be presunieil that the monument was then more 

Chap. VllI, 


complete than it is now, he could hardly have failed to be etruck 
with it, and, if so, to have mentioned it in his ' Comiuentaries.' 
Even, however, if he neglected tliem, the officers of his army must 
have seen tlicse stones. They must liave been talked about in 
Rome, and some gossip like Pliuy, when writing about stones, must 
have heard of this wonderful group, and have alluded to it in 
some way. The silence, however, ia absolute. No mcdiseval 
rhapsodist even attempts to give thc^m a pro-Roman origin. Sucli 
traditions as that of St. Cornely, or Curiielius the Centurion, 
though absurd enough, point, as such traditions generally do, to 
the transition time between pagnnism and Christinuity, when, 
apparently, all mediaeval elironiclers seem to have believed that 
all these rude-stone monnmeuts were erected. Till, therefore, 
some stronger argument than has yet been adduced, or some new 
analogy be suggested, the pre- Roman theory must be set aside ; 
and if this is so, wo are tolerably safe in assuming that no battle 
of sufficient importance was fought which these stones could be 
erected to commemorate during the time when the Eomans held 
supreme sway in the country. 

If this is 80, our choice of an event to be represented by these 
it stone rows is limited to the period which elapsed between 
"the overthrow of the Roman power by Muximus, A.u. 383, and the 
time when the penple of the country were completely converted 
to Christianity — whi<:li happened in the early part of the sixth 
century.' But if the history of England is confused and uncertain 
during that century and a half, that of Brittany is even more so, 
and has not yet been elucidated by the French authorities to the 
same extent as ours has been. 

No one, I believe, doubts that Maximus, coming with an array 
from Britain, Itnuled s^)mewliere in Brittany, where he fought a 
great battle with the forces of Gratian, whom he defeated, and that 

' " CVst en •Ida quo Vnnncs re^ut |Kiur 
premier <?vcqiie rArmoricoin 8t. PbUtb, 
qtii mourut jieu d'nnners apres chez lea 
France, oil le« Oolha I'nvoient forcd de 
flc tt'fugier. Mik1<>81il8 en 511 rait tout 
ou ujuviv pour repamlre le Ckribtiniiuimp 
(lAruii lea Paj^ani do sou diocvoc, main 
•on lAv uc fut poB rt-vomiK'tiBC, car pliis 

de trente ana apri-H la mort de Pateru lea 
habituDs de la Vcac'tio etoicot enc(.ire 
prtMque toua palcna. ' Enint eniin tuna 
tempuria Yenetciuea pene omne^ Gen- 
tiles.'— vlp. B<41. 'Vita St. Melon.' vi. 
Jon. p. 311." — Cotirton, 'Chorlulflire de 
I'Abbaye de Redon,' csliii. 



Ciui-. VIII. 

nfferwards, in a seconti l>aUle near Lyons, he exix?lleii tl»e legitimate 
govornmcnt of the Roinnns from G;uil.' I also see no reason for 
(laubtinfi; tlimt ho was accompHiiied by a British prince Conan 
Mei'iaile-, wlio atterwards settled in the country with tlionsands of 
Ilia emigrant coivntrymftn, over whom he was enabled to establish 
his chi ftainship on the ruins of the r?oman jower. 

If this is 80, the battle vvhieli destroyed the lloraan power, and 
gave rise to the native dynasty, wouUl be worthy of sueh a 
monument as that at Carnac ; but so far as local traditions go, the 
place where Maximum and hi-* British allies lauded was near St. 
Malo, and the battle was fought at a place called Alleth, near 
St. Servan.' If this is so, it w»is too far off to have any (*nnection 
with the Camac stones. Two other wars seem to have been 
carried on by Conan, one in 410 against n people who are merely 
called barbarians,^ a second against the Ivoraans under Exupe- 
raiitius in 41(5 j* but we have no local particulars which would 
enable us to connect these wars with our stones. A war of lil>e- 
ration against Rome svoidd be worthy of a national monnment, 
and it may V)c thit tins is such a one, bnt I know of nothing to 
conner.t the two together, though incitl civquirics on the 8jK»t 
might remove this ditKcuUy. 

On llie whole, liowever, I am more inclined to look among 
the events of the next reign for a key to tiie riddle. CTrallon 
was engaged in two wars at least: one against the Roman 
consul Liberina in 439,* in which he succeeded in frustnifing the 
attempt* vf that people to recover their lost power ; the other 
against the " Xorniau pirates;"' and it is to ttiis, as connecting 
the stone monuments with a Northern people, that I should be 
inclined to ascrib? the erect inn of the Carnac alignments. From 
Grallou being the reputed founder of Laudevenec, it might seem 

' Tlie ftiitlinrity for these events will 
Xtc foiniil nt Icnfitli in Gil>bon, chap, xviii., 
mill nrv tiK> fiiniilior to npcd quoting here. 

' Dikru'g 'Iliatoijo de la BnUgiii;-,' 
vol. i. p. r>8. • iWrf. p. 112. 

* Dom. Bouquet, ' KfH'ui'il dvn Hint, ilea 
finuU-a,' i. p. G'i'.t. " Exiiperantim nnno 
circA 4 111 Armorirtis qui a Rnnumig difp- 
ccnint ml onirium rwlucCTe tentavit.'' 

» Piuii, i p. 112. 

• "(Sradlonus gratia ch>i rex Drilonuiu 
nconon ox parte Francorum." — C^jrlii- 
laire df, iMnderean; quotwl hj P. lx>- 
liiiieau, ii. 17. Ami further; " 'Pcrrenit 
Snnoti (Wingtil"x-i) famtt ml Oralloniim 
rcgciii OceidiuiruiM Cornubioiwiuin, glori- 
osiiiti iiltorom Vonunnitoruni qui iKMt de- 
virtnsgt'iiti'ii iiiimiras silii duces »ulxlux- 
crat." — (iurdrninn, Mni'nr tte hnnilTmrr, 
' Vieflrf«t.-Win;o«h"i».' " — Ttnrv, i. p. »S». 

Chap. VIII. 



more probable that the alignments at Crozoii marked the josilion 
of tliia battle, and I ain not prepared to dispute tlmt it may be so. 
The question h not of iinportanoe ; if either group marked a battle- 
field of thi.s |x^riod, the other certaiidy did so also, and I would 
prefer to refrain from offering any opinion as to what particular 
battle these Btoiies commemorate. That must he determined by 
Bome locnl anlirjuary with ranch more ititimate knowledge of the 
history and traditions of the province than I possess. All I wish 
to show here is that there was a period of a century and a half 
between the departure of the Romans and the time when the 
Bretons were so coni[tletely eonverted to f 'hristiimity as to abandon 
their old Imbits and customs, and that during that period there 
were wars with the Eomans and the Northern barbarinna of suffi- 
cient importftnce to justify the erection of any monuments within 
the competence of the people. If this is so. and we are limited to 
this jx^riod, enough is established in so far as the argument of this 
work is concerned, and the rest may fairly be left to be discussed 
and determined by the lix^al antiqunries. All that it is necessary 
to contend for here is, tiiat the alignments at t'amac are neither 
temples, nor tombs, nor town-halls, and tliat thoy wore not erected 
before the time of the llomans. If these negative projuositions 
are answered, there will not, probably, be raticli difficulty in 
admitting that they must be trophies, and that the battle or cam- 
paign which they commemorate was fought between the years 
380 and 550 A.D. — in fact in the Arthurian age, to which we have 
ascribed most of those in tliis country. 

The monuments in the cemetery at Loemariaker are probably 
older, but some of them extend down to the time when Carnac 
" closed the line in glory." 


Lot SCO 

Finistire 500 

Morbihau 2i50 

Ardtehe IBS 

Aveyron , 125 

Dordogne 100 

Vieniio (Haute et Basse) 82 

Cotes du Nonl 56 

Maine-et- Loire 53 

Eure-ot-Loir 40 

Gard 32 

Aube 28 

Indre-et- Loire 28 

Charcnte ., 26 

Creuse 20 

Cbareata-Inf^rieurc 24 

TiOzdro 19 

Corriaa 17 

Veaddc 17 

Loire-Inftfrieure 16 

Sarthe 15 

nie-et-Vilaine 15 

Deux-S6vrea 15 

Orno 14 

Tndre 13 

Manche 13 

Pyr^n^es-Orientales .. 12 

Piiy-de-Dfliue 10 

C>ise 9 

Cantal 8 

Tam-et-Garonne 7 

Chap. IX. 





It woiild not be easy to finrl a more apt illustration of the difficulty 
and danger of writing siieb a book as tliis than tiie history of 
how we acquired onr knowledge of Spaiiish dolmens. Whoa Ford 
published his interesting and exhaustive ' Handbook uf Spain,' in 
1845, he had travelled over the length and breadth of the land, and 
knew if 8 literature intimately, but he did not know that there was 
a single "Druidical remain" iu the country. The first intimation 
uf their existence was iu a pamphlet by Don Rafael Mjtjana,' 
containing the description of one ut Antequera; and since then 
Don Gongora y llartinez * has published a work containing views 
and descriptiona of thirteen or fourteen important monunienta of 
this class in Andalusia and the south of Spain; and from other 
sources I know the names of at least an equal number in the 
Asturias and the north of Spain.' Had this work conscquendy 
been written only a very few years ago, a description of the «lolmeu 
at Autequera must have begun and ended the chapter. As it now 
18, we not only know that dolmens are numerous iu Spain, but wo 
have a distinct idea of their distribution, which may lead to most 
important historical results. 

With regard to Portugal, the case is even more striking. 
Kinsey, in his 'Portugal Illustrated,' in 1829, gave a drawing 
of a " Druid's altar" at Arroyolos, and it was mentioned also by 
Borrow,* but there our information stopped, till the meeting of 
the International Prehistoric Congress at Paris in 1867, when 
S. Pereira da Costa described by name thirty-nine dulmens as still 
existing in Portugal. He also mentioned that as long ago as 1734 
a memoir had been presented to the Portuguese Academy enume- 
rating 314 as then to be met with ; and though this is doubtful, it 

' * Mcmoria Bohre ul Tcmpio Draida do I * For a groat port of the information 

Ante<iucra,' Malaga, 1847. ' regarding tlioin, I am indebted tu my 

• ' Antt'siifdadi* i>R>Lit»torico» dv Au- I'rii.'uJ Don J. F. Riiitj", of Madrid, 
duluvia,' Mif irid, 1?>I>H. ' • llililo iu t^jiaiii,' ii, p. 35. 



Chap. IX. 

neeiiis thut Miey were at one time very numerous, and mauy, no 
iloiibt, si ill oxist wliifli liave escapetl S. da Costa's enquiries. 
Neitlipr he nor any one else n]i]>ears to liave visited Cape Ciineus, 
llie iu(>st simtliern poi'nt of Poitupul, wliere, if we read Strabo 
aright^, dolmens certainly existed in liis day ;' and if they do ro 
now, it would be a point gained in nur invest igntion. 

At ])reseut, according to S. da Costa, there are twenty-one 
dolmens in Aleritejo, two in Estrtima<iura, nine in Beira, four in 
Tras 08 Moutes, and three in Minho. Accordinrr to my information, 
they are numerous in (}allleia, hut liave never l>een described. 
Three at least are known by name iu Santander, and as many iu 
the Asturias. One at least is known in Biscay, and two iu Vitoria; 
one in Navarre, and one in Catalonia. But I juii assured that all 
ulonfi the roots of tlie inounfains tliey are frequent, though no 
one lias yet dcseribed or drawn tlienu'' So fur as is known, there 
are none in the Castiles, in Ibe centre of Spain, and only that 
group above alluded to iu Andalusia, where probably, instead of a 
<lozen, it may turn out that there arc twice or tliriee that number. 

Assuminy^ this distribution of the 8panish dolmens lo be correct 
— and I see no reason for doubting (hat it is so, in the main features 
at least — it is so remarkable that it afVords a good opportunity for 
testing one of the principal theories put forward with regard to 
the migrations of the dolmeu-biiihling people. Accor ling to the 
thtory of M. Bertraud, the dolmen people, after passing down 
till" Baltic anil leaving their nionunicnts there, migrated to the 
Brilisli islands, and after a sojourn of some time again took to 
tJieir sliips and landed in Fmnce and Spain, to pass thence into 
Africa and disajvpear.' This seems so strange, that it is fortunate 
we have another hypothesis which assumes the i»robability of an 
indigenous pojiulalion driven to the liilJs and then into the 
ui'cau by the advancing tide of modem civilization. 

The tirst hypothesis involves the nssuinption that the dolmen 
people jM)Ssessed a navy rnpnble of transplanting them and their 
fanjilies I'rom shore to shore, and that they liad a sufticieiit kiiuw- 

' Stmlfi, iii. 1). i:ifi. 1870, illugtrotcd l>j- drnwiugii of liitliprtn 

• Tlioru IB on iiil^rugliiiK i«|ht by uiikiuiwii dolmcnii by Sir Viucvut Eyrt'. Tb1I)|)1 <1<> MnlnliiHr oii Ihis siilijift * ' Rovuc urclM<«logi.|ue,' new tiorlcs, 

in iJif ' Arch«;oli)jji(-»l Journul,' 1(18, viii. )». 6'JO, 

ClIAf. IX. 



ledgo of geography to know exaetly whither to go, but at the same 
time iMjsseAsed with such a spirit of wandering that so soon as they 
8ettl(id for a certain tjmo in a given pbico, and luiriei.1 a certain 
niiml)€r of their clifpfH, thoy immediately net out again on Uieir 
travels. According to this view, they were so wotik that tliey Hed 
the moment when the original possessors of the land rose against 
them, though, strange to say, they had in the first instanoe been 
able to disposse!<d tliem. What is still luure unlikely is that they 
should have possessed the organization to keep togt^ther, and to 
introduce everywhere their own arts and their nwu t-iistoms, but 
that, when they departed, tliey should have left nothing but lb 'ir 
tombs behind. This liypotliL'sis involves in fart so many diHi- 
culties and so many improbabilities that I do not think tliat either 
M. Bertrand or the Baron da Bonstetten would now, that our 
knowltHlge is so much increased, adliere to it. I at least cannot 
see on what gviiunds it can be maintained. It is so diametnoHlly 
opposed to all we know of ancient migrations. They seem always 
— in BO far as Europe is concerned — to have followed the course 
of the snn from east to west ; and the idea that a people, after 
having peopled Britain, should have started again to land on the 
rugged coasts of the Asturias or in Portngal, and not have been 
able to penetrate into the interior, is so very unlikely that it 
would require very strong and direct testimony to make it credible, 
while it m-ed hardly bu siid no such evidence is forthcoming. 

The hyputliesis which seems to account much more satisfactorily 
for the facts as we know them assH!iie>i that an ancestral wor- 
shipping people inhabited the Spanish pcninsuhi frouj nmote pre- 
historic times. If so, they certainly occupied the pastoral plains 
of Castile and the fertile regions of Valencia and Andalusia, as 
well as the bleak hills of Gallicia and the Asturias, Whether 
we call them Iberians, or Cehiheiians, or, to use a more general 
term, Turanians, thay were a dead-reverencing, ancestral wor- 
shipping people, bwt bad not in prehistoric times learnt to nso 
stone for the adornment of their tombs. 

The first people, so far as we know, who disturbed the Iberians iu 
their possessions were the Carthaginians. They occupied the sea 
coast at least of Murcia and Valencia, and if, according to their 
custom, they wonxht to reduce the natives to slavery, they 



Chap. IX, 

probably frightened multitudes from the coast into the interior, but 
thero is no proof that lliey ever made nny extensive settlements 
in tlie centre of tlie country, nor on its west or north coast. It 
was different with tho liomans : with them the genius of conquest 
was strong ; they longed to annex all Spain to their dominions, 
and no doubt drove all tliose who were impatient of their yoke 
into the remote districts of Portugal and the rugged fastnesses of 
the Asturias and the northern mountains. It is also probable that 
many, to avoid their oppressions, sought refuge beyond the sea ; 
but the great migintious are probably duo to the intolerance of the 
early Christian missiouarieA It thus seems that it was to avoid 
Carthaginian rapacity, Roman tyranny, and Christian intolerance, 
that tlie unfortunate aborigines were forced first into the fastne^tses 
of the hills, and thonce driven literally into the sea, to seek refuge 
from their oppressors in the islands of the ocean.' 

Such an hypothesis seems perfectly consonant with all the facts 
as we now know them, and it also accounts for the absence of 
dolmens in the centre of Spain ; for if this is correct, these migra- 
tions took place in the pre-dolinen p(;riodj and just as we iiad thu 
Bryts beginning to use stones after having been driven from tlie 
fertile plains of the east into tho fastnesses of Cumberland and 
Wales, so we find the Spaniards first adopting rude-stone monu- 
nients after having been driven into I'ortugal and the Asturias. 

The one point which this theory does not seem to account for 
is the presence of dolmens in Andalusia, Th^y however are, if I 
am not mistaken, an outlyiug branch of the great African dolmen 
field, imd belong to the same age as these do, of which we shall be 
better able to judge presently. That there was a close or intimate 

* " In tho year b.c. 218, the second 
onil flerw^gt alrugpli; between (he rival 
rejni'bjii'o of OurlLoge and Rome was 
coninu'.nced hy Hunuibal taking Se- 
guutiiDi. The rtnitiMiiIft thrreafter be- 
coiiio tho tlieatrc of a war aFtervrards 
corritxl hy Ilaniiilial into Italy, which 
wfta Hot «K'nolud«<d till 202 B.C., when 
h!]>ain wiw addw] to the growing Italian 
IlopiiWic. Cut the nation of 8paiu did 
not willinRly h«w to tho yoke. One of 
the bloodiest of ull the Roman ware 
coutmcuccHi in Spain 133, and did not 

finally t^'rminato for twenty ycm, 
during which cities were razed to the 
ground, miiltitudca iQiusarrcd and mada 
slaves, and thu iHumphant arms of Room 
borne to tho AUniitic ahon>s. Ilore, 
therefore, is an epoch iu tho history of 
the Bpanidi ])eTiiiiHiiIa which a^«m8 
completely to coincide with the ancient 
traditions of the Scoti, and the kmiw- 
li'dge we poHiH-iia of the period of their 
arrival in Ireland." — Dan Wilton, ' Pnr- 
historic Anuals of Sootlaud,' p. 47o. 

Chap. IX. 



connection from \ery early times between the sotith coast of iSpnin 
and the north of Africa Imrdly admits of a doubt. Tie facility 
with which the Moora occupied it in the seveuth century, and the 
permanencoi of their dominion fur so many ceutiirics, is in itself 
sutHoieut to prove that a pfoplo of the same race had boon esta- 
blished there before them, and that they were not a foreign race 
holding the natives in subjection, but dwelling among their own 
kith and kin. 

It seems in vain to look among the written annals, either of 
Spain or Ireland, for a rational account of thee© events. Both 
countries acknowledge to the fallest extt-nt that the migration did 
take [dace ; and the Spanish race of Heremon is one of the most 
illustrious of those of Ireland, and tills a large page in its liistory. 
So, too, the Spanish annalists fill volumes with the successful ex- 
peditions of their countrymen to the Gricn Island.' The mania, 
however, of the annalists of both countries for carrying every- 
thing back to the Flood, and the sons and daughters of Noah, so 
vitiates everything they say, that beyond the fact, which scorns 
undoubted that sutdi migration did occur no rtdiance can be placed 
on their accounts of these trnnsactions. 

One only paragraph that I know of seems to have escaped per- 
version. In his second chapter of his fourth book, D. O'Campo 
states: — "Certain natives of Spain called Siloros (the SJluri), a 
IJiscayan tribe, joined wilJi another, nfimed Brigantes, migrated to 
Britain about 2fil years before our era, and ol)taine<l possession of 
a territory there on which they settled." ' This is so consonant 
with what we know of the settlement of the Silures on the hanks 
of the Severn that there seems no good reason for doubting its 
correctness, It is more doubtful, however, whether any Spanish 
colonies readied Ireland at so early an age. Even allowing for 
the existence in the uorth-east of Irehmd of the realm of Emania, 
the only kingdom in Ireland of which we have any authentic 
annals before the Clirislian era, there was plenty of room for the 
contemporary existence of the nice of Iltiremon in the south and 
west. Tara did not then exist, and, in iact, according to the 

' Sco a paper on tl»e migration from Spain to Ire lonii, by Dr. Mml'lpti, ' Pro- 
csocfliuga of Roynl Irith Aciulrnty.' viii. pp, 372 ti Hfqq. • MwWen, I, *. r, p, 377. 


Chap. IX. 

nnnalH of tlie ' Four Masters,' was founded by Ileremon liiinself, 
and took its first name, IVamair, from Tea, his wife, who selected 
this spot. All this is perfectly consistent witli what we know of the 
history of the place. Tlie earliest niunument at Tara Ia the Ratli 
of Cormac * (218 A.D., or probably fifty years later). Though there- 
fore chosen by llereiiioii as a sacred or desirable spot for resi- 
dence, there is no proof that his race ever occupied it; and in the 
two centuries that elapsed from his advent to the time of C(>rmac 
his race had passed away from Meatli at least, and was t>uly to 
be found ia the south and west uf Ireland. The one reminiscence 
of the Milesian ruco that remained at Tara, in historical times', is 
the I.ia Fail, or Stone of Destiny, which these "venerutores lapi- 
dum " are suid to have brought with them from Spain, but which, 
with all due deference to I'etrie, is not the obelisk still standinj^ 
there,' but may be the stone now in \\'e8tujin»tc-r Abbey, The 
Spanish colonists seem principally to have occupied the country 
about Wexforil and Galway,^ and to these places, especially the 
latter, a contiuvml streaui of immigration npjtears to have tloWcd 
from the first century uf our era down tu the time of Elizabeth. 
No one can travel in these coimties without remarking the pre- 
sence of a dtirk-luiired, dark-eyed race tliat prevails everywhere; 
but, stmnge to suy, the LJarkest-complexiontd j eo]>le in the west 
are those who still linger among the hug-neglected dolmens of 
Glen Malim More. 

According lo tlie annals of tlie ' Four Masters,' Heremon landed 
in Ireland tiily years after the death of the great Dagilha. Tlie 
Irish historians say that tlie country was then ruled by three 
princesses, wives of the grandsons of the Dagdlia. and add that 
the event took place 1002 years after Foratin (riuirach) had been 
drowned in the Red Sea.* If thut event took phice iu 1U12, as I 
believe it diil,' this woidd fix their advt-nt in olO B.C., which, 
though less extravagant than the chronology of the ' Four 
Masters, is still, I believe, at least three centuries Ux) earlv. 

' Ai,le, |i, I us. 

' Pctrie, " Kusiiy <m Tom," "TruiiB, 
K. 8. A.' xviil. 

* "The two proviiicfs \^liii'li thf race 
of Hpit'iiioii iKiMn-sDrd were tlic pru- 
viiiiK:' <if fuiilian {i.e. Ix'iutttor) aiul the 

piuviHCO vf OIUfii.a<-lit {i.e. Ciinnnught)." 
— J'llrie, ' Kotinil Toweie,' p, 100. 
' litH'Vvs, trtinshilidn uC Nviinius, p. US' 
' 'True Priiifipka of iJeauty in Art,' 
liY the Author, ap|M'iulix, 02(1. 

Chap. iX. 



All this imiy not be — is not in fact — capable (if absolute proof; 
but it lias lit least the merit that it piecies together satisfactorily 
all we know of (he history and etlino;Titi|ihy of these races, and ex- 
plains in II reasonable manner all the architectural forms which wo 
meet with. It is lianlly fair to exjiect more from the annals of a 
rude people who could not write, and whose history has never been 
carefully investigated iu modern times. It is too early yet to say 
so, but the fact is, tiiat it is these rude-stoae mouumeuts which 
alone can reveal the secrets of tbeir long forgotten past. As they 
have hitherto been treated, they have only added mystery to 
obscurity. But the time is not far off when this will be altered, 
and we may learn from a comiiurisoii of the Irish with Spanish 
dolmens, not only what truth there is in tlie migrations of Here- 
moD, but also at what time these Spanish tribes Hrst settled as 
colonists in the Irish isle. 


The finest dolmen known to exist in Spain is that of Autequera. 
above alluded to; it will, indeed, bear comparison with the best 
iu France or auy other country in Europe. The eliamber is of 
a somewhat oval shajio, and mejLsurcs intL-niatly about SO feet 



\ 1,'V. ..I 111.? Iril.- 



I6C. Plan of IHilmrn csIIckI Cuert <t« McDgi, near Antrtinrra. 

from the entrance to t!je front of tbe stone closing ilie rear. Its 
greatest wiMtli is 20 feet 6 inches, and its height varies between 
9 and 10 ftct.^ The whole is composed of thirtv-oue stones: 

ten on each side 

form the walls; 
one closes the 
end; five are roof- 
ing, nnd three 
])i]lai-s siijiport 
the last at their 
junction. Tlw 
stone forming the roof of the cell or innermost j)art measures 25 
feet by 21 feet, and is of considerable tliickness. All the stones 
comprising this moimniont are more or less slmjHKl by art — at 
least to the extent to which those at Stouehcnge can be said to Iw 
bo; while the three pillars in the centre, which seem to be part 
of the original structure, are certainly h<.wn. Tlio whole was 
originally covered with a mound about 100 feet in diameter, and 
is slill ])iirtiully at least so buried. Its entrance is, however, 
nnd probably always was, flush with the edge of the mound, and 
open and accessible, and it is consequently not to be wondered at 
if notliing was found inside to indicate its age or use. 

If we might assume — there is no proof — that the monnd at 
Antequera was originally surrounded by a circle of stones like 
those at Lough Crew (woodcut No. 72), wo should have a monn* 
ment whose plan and dimensions were the same as those of 
Stonehenge, and, muicUis mxUandis, the two would be, as nearly as 
may be, identical. There is the same circle of stone or earth 100 
feet in diameter, and the same elliptical choir 80 feet in length, 
assuming that of JStonehenge to be extended to the outer circle. 
Antequera is, in fact, a roofed and covered-up Stonehenge, 
Stonehenge a free-standing Antequera. If both were situated in 
Wiltshire or in Andalusia, I should unhesitatingly declare for 
Antequera being the older. Jlen do what is useful before they 
indulge in what is merely fanciful. The two, in fact, bear exactly 

' These (luiicDdiong are taken irom Mitjana'a bonk, merely ttirtied into their 
f<iiiirnltiut» in Eiigliuli fift. They do not, however, agree iu ucolc witL the 
jilnn, hut lire probntly iip|jroxiii)iit<>l>' corrfct. 

Chap. IX. 



tJie saiDG relation to one another that Callemish does to New 
Grange ; Init when so widely separated geographically as the 
former two are, and belonging to two different races, it is difficult 
to say which may bo the older. All we can feel sure of is that 
both belong to the same system, and that they are not far 
removed from each other in date. We must, however, know 
more than we do of the local history of Spanish dolmens before 
we can feel sure tliat Antequera may not be even considerably 
more modern timn iStonehenge. 

None of the other dolmens in Andalusia approach Antequera in 
magnificence, thougli they all seem to bear a similar character, 
and in appi^arunce belong to the same age. The supporting 
stones seetQ to be all more or less shaped by art, and fitted to 
Bomu extent to one another, Tlie cap-stone is generally left in 
its natural state, 
largeness being the 
feature that the 
builders always 
aimed at. llic-i" 
peculiarities are 
well exhibited in 
the dolmen called 
de la Cruz del Tio 
CogoUenJS, in the 
parish of Fonelas, 
near G uad i x Here 
the cap-stone mea- 
snresnearly I'l feet 

each way, and covers what was intended to be ft nearly square 
chamber; one side, as at Kit's Cotty House, being left open; 
consequently it could hardly ever have been intended to be 
covered with a mound. Indeed, so far as we can gather from Don 
GoQgora's drawings, none of those whicb ho illustrates were ever 
so buried, nor does it apj>ear that it was originally the intention 
ever to cover theux with earth. Another monument, called oidy 
Sepnhura Grande, in the parish of Gor, in the same neighbour- 
hood, is iuleresting from its resemblance tu the Hwedish sepulchre 
illustrated in woodcut No. 108. and to the Countless Stones ot 

2 G 

Iiotnipii del Tio CogoUrro*. Fruoi Gonictira. 



Aylesford. Its cap-stone is 12 feet by 8 feet, and the side-stone 
fall away to a point in front. It evidently never was intended 
be fni'ther ntofeti, nor to be buried in a mound, and, so far as ca 
be judged from its &ii[>earancf, is ot comparatively modern date. 
The most interesting of Don Gongom's plates is one repr 
senting a dolmen near Dilur. Tliis, if the drawing is to 
dep4-'vidcd ii[>on, consists of a mnnolilbir cliumber, liollowed out of 
a stone of coosiderable dimensions, and hewn so as almost to looi 
liko an Egyptian cell. It is surrounded by twelve or fou; 
rude-stoiie pillars, apparently 3 feet in height, and like those of 

> loo^^ 

15K. Pepultar» Grande. Vnm Ooneftr*. 

Callernish in shape. In tlie distance are seen two other circles 
of rude stones, but with nothing in their centre. If I understand 
Don Gongora rightly, these mouuments are now very much ruined, 
if not entirely destroyed, and it is not clear bow far the drawingffl 
are actual sketches or restorations. They may be correct, but 
without finther confirmation it would hardly be safe to found any 
nrgumeut uixin thura. 

So little is known — or at least so little has been published — 
regarding tii© dolmens of the north of Spain that it is very difficult 
and very unsafe to attempt any generalisation regarding them. 
There are three, however, which do seem to throw some light 
on our enquiries. The first is at Eguilar, in tlie district 
Vitoria, on the road between that city and Pampeluna. It 

Chap. IX. 



"^ - 



Plan of DobiKD at 

of a horse-shoe form, like the Countless Stones at Aylesfoifl, and 
measures 13 feet by 10 feet interually. Originally it was roofed 
by a single stone, measuring 19 feet by 15 feet, but which is 
now, unfortunately, broken. The side-stones 
and roof are closely fitted to one another, 
showing that it was always intended to bft, 
and, in fact, is now, partially covered by 
a mound of earth. 

At Cangas de On is, in the Asturias, 
about forty miles east from Oviedo, there 
is a small uhurch built on a mound which 
contains iu it a dolmen of rather unusunl 
shape. Its imier end is circular in plan, 
from which proceeds a funnel-shaped nave, 
formed of three stones on each side, and with a doorway formed 
by two largo stones at right angles to its direction. On the top 
of the mouud a churcli was built, pro- 
bably in the tenth or eleventh century,' 
to which this dolmen served as a eiypt. 
From this it seems to be a fair inference 
that, when the church was built on the 
mound, the dolmen was still a sacred 
edifice of the aborigines. Had the 
Cbristians merely wanted a foundation 
for their building, tliey would have 
filled up or destroyed the pagan edifice, 
but it seems to have remained open to 
the present day ; and though it has long 
ceased to bo used for any eacied pur- 
pose, it still is, and always was, an 
essential part of the church which it 

A still more remarkable instance of the same kind is to be 
found at n place called Arrichinagft, about twenty-five miles from 
Bilboa, in the province of Biscay. In the hermitage of St. Michael, 





Oangaa dc Onia. 

> Tlierp 18 a view of the mound and chiu-eh in Paroerisii, ' Recuerdo* y DellezM de 
Egpario, AaturiM y Leon,' p. 30, hut too email to enable us to be oble to form *ny 
idea of ita age from the lithograph. 



Cmxr. rX. 

at tliis plaee, a dolmeB of rerj e nnm A mMei dimendan^is eocl 
withiB the walls of what seems to be a new modem rhitrch. 
mar, faowerer, be the tsaceeaaat of ooe raoce ancient ; but tbe 
of them great stones being afdopted hj the Christians at 
diows that thej mnst have beat oooadered aKicd and objects of 
wonbip by tbe natives at the time when tbe Christians enclosed 


nolroai of &a mgod, •( AnkUuCk. 

them in their edifice. If the fiacta are as represented in t\ 
woodcat,' we can now easily understand why the councils of 
Toledo, in 681 and 092^ fulminated their decrees against the 
" veneratores lapidnni ;"' and why also the more astute pro- 
vincial priesthood followed the adric« that Pope Gregory gave 
to Abbot Alillitus, and by means of a little holy water and an 

' The woodent ii copied from one 
in Fnuik L.«liB'8 'DlMtrntod News;' 
which iiiUplf, taken from a Kixfoch illai- 
tratcd joitmal. I <lo not dontit that the 
AmchoAn copy ia a correct reprod notion 
fit ilu) French nri^nal ; but there may 
bo esnggentiittu in the flnt. I see no 

reawa, bowercT, for doabting th«t 
great ctoDC* do exist in the b<-niiit«i! 
and that they arc porta, at K-aat, of 
dolmen — and this ii all thnt concerns t 
argimient. I wi«h, liowevcr, we ha 
■oiuu more rvliable infonuatiou on 
unlijVet. - Vide anU, p. M. 

Chap. IX. 



image of San Miguel turned the sacred stones of the pagans into 
a tfirnple of the true God. It is diflSciilt to say when Christianity 
ponelrated into the Asturios — not, probnbly, before tlie time of 
Pelayo (a.D. T2lJ); but even this would be too early for such 
churclies as those of Cangas de Onis and Arrifhinaga. They, in 
fact, seem to carry down the veneration for big stones to almost 
as bite a date as tlie age indicated by tlio doliuen at Cnufolens 
(woodcut No. 123), and bring the probable erection of some of 
them at least, if not of all, within the historic era. 


Only ouo drawing of a dolmen in Portngal has as yet, so far as 
I know, been published. It is situated on a Ideak henth-land at 
Arroyolos, not far from Evora. Mr. Borrow describes it as one of 



Dolmen >t AmjroIcM^ From Kluwy. 

the most perfect and beautiful of its kind Le had ever seen. "It 
was circular, and consisteil of stones immensely large and heavy 
at the bottom, which towards the top becamo thinner, having 
been fashioned by the haul of art to something like the shape of 
scallop-shells. These were surmounted by a very large flat stone. 



Chap. IX, 

wliicli slanted down towards the sonth, where was a door. Three 
or four individuals might have taken ahelter within the interior, 
in which was growing a small thorn-tree." ' Neither he nor Kinsey , 
condescend to diraensions, and S. da Costa merely remarks that 
the dolmens which he has seen at Castello da Vide are of a similar 
const ruotiou to this one at Arroyolos.' 

Thia, it must be confessed, is but a meagre and imperfect 
outline of one of the most important dolmen-fielda in Europe, but 
it is probably sufficient to indicate its importance and its bearing 
on the history of raegalithic remains in general. When filled up, 
it promises to throw a flood of light on the subject in general, not 
only from being one of the connecting links serving to join the 
African dolmen-field to that of Europe, but more especially from 
the assistance it seems to afford us in understanding the hitherto 
mysterious counectiou of tlie Irish Slilesioiis with Spain. If the 
dolmens on the north and west coasts of the Spanish peninsula 
were carefully examined and compared with those in Ireland, 
their similarity would probably anflice to prove their affinity, 
and to establish on a broad basis of fact what has hitherto been 
left to the wild imaginings of patriotic annalists, more anxious 
for the fdWed antiquity of their race than for the prosaic results 
of truthful investigations. 

From such Icuowledge as we at present possess, I see no reason 
for supposing that any of the Spanish dolmens are as old as the 
Christinu era ; and the facts connected with the two at Cangas de 
Oiiis and Arrichinaga seem to prove that they were " venerated " 
as late ut least as the eighth, it may be the tenth, century, and, if 
venerated, there ia no reason why they sliould not also have been 
erected at that late age. 


Although the experience wo have just acijaired with reference 
to dolmens in Spain ought to make any one cautious as to making 
assertions regarding those in Italy, still it probably ia safe to 

' Borrow, • DiMe in Rixiin,' ii. p. 35. 

' ' CoDgrda internittiona] prehiatoriqne,' Paris vcilomc, p. 18S, 

Chai'. IX. 



npsert tliat, with the exception of one group at Satumia, there 
are no dolmens in that country. In many respects Italy ia very 
differently situated from Spain. Her own learned societies and 
antiquaries have for centuries been occupied with lior antiquities, 
and foreiyu tourists have traversed the length and breadth of the 
land, and could hardly have failed to remark anything that called 
to tlioir recollection the Druids or Dragons of their own native 
lauds. As nothing, however, of tho sort has been recorded, we 
may feel tolerable contidence that no important specimens exist; 
though at the roots of the hills and in remote corners there can 
be little doubt that waifs and strays of wandering races will 
reward the careful searcher for such objects. One, for instance, 
is known to exist near Sesto Calende, in Lombardy. It is a circle 
of small stones, some 30 feet in diameter, with an avenue 50 feet in 
length touching it tangenttally ou one side, and wilh a small semi- 
circle of stones 20 feet wide a few yards farther uft".'^ Tho whole 
looks like the small alignments on Dartmoor, and if several were 
found and the traditions of the country were carefully silteJ, this 
might lead to some light being thrown on the subject. At present 
it is hardly much bigger or more interesting than a sheep-told. 

The Saturnia group is thus described by Mr. Dennis: — ''They 
are rery numerous, consisting generally of a quadrangular chamber 
sunk a few feet below tho surface, lined with rough slabs of rock 
set upright, one on each side, and roofed over with two large slabs 
resting against each other, so as to form a penthouse, or else a 
single one of enormous size, covering the whole, and laid with 
a slight slope, apparently for the purpose of carrying off the rain. 
Not a chisel has touched these rugged masses, about 16 feet 
square to half that size; some divided, like that shown in the 
annexed woodcut, into two chambers over IS feet across. To most 
of them a passage leads, 10 or 12 feet long and S feet wide. All 
are sunk a Uttlo below tho surface, because each had a tumulus of 
earth piled around it, so as to cover all but the cap stone." 

One tumulus was observed with a ciicle of small stones set 
round it, and Mr. Dennis suggests " that all may have been so 
encircled, but that the small stones would be ejwily removed by 

' ' CongKS intcmatiooal jwhiatorifiiio,' Puria vuliimo, p, I'.H. 


ChXf. IX. 

tlie peasantry." "Nothing," he adds, "at all like them is seen in 
any other purt of Etruria." ' Satnniia is situated twfnty miles ftx>m 
the sea, and if it is true that uutliiiip of the sort is found elsewhere 
in ItalVf these dolniena must be looked upon as exceptional^the 
remains of some stray colony of dolmen-bnilders, the memory 
of whirh has passed away, and may probably now bo lost for 

If this is a correct representation, of what took place in Italy, 
the conclusion seems inevitable that the chambered tumnli of 
that country — all of whicli are erected with hewn stones — lUd not 



I «»'--*5' 

l>>jliit«tt ut Sudirnio. l-'rotn IViinbt' ' Ktnirin/ 

grow out of rude-stone monuments. In no criuutry in Europe are 
thetnuiuli so numerous or so imjiortaut as in Etruria, and, as before 
mentioned, they certainly extend back to an era twelve or thirteen 
centuries before Christ. But if the dolmens of France or Scandi- 
navia are prcliistoric, or, in otiier words, extend back to anything 
like a thousand or fifteen hundred years before Christ, there is no 
reason whatever why dolmens should not be found also in Italy, 
if they ever existed there. Either it must be that Italy never 

' ' Cities i»nd OmUtrios of RlnniB," ii, p, SU 

Chap. IX. 



possessed any or that those in the rest of Europe are very much 
more modern. If the northern doln^ens are only one tliousiind to 
t\vo thousand years old. the matter is easily oxplained. If they 
are three thonsfiiid or four thousand years old, they ought also to 
be found in Italy. 

The fact seems to be that both the Pelasgi of Greece anil the 
Tyrrheni of Italy came in contact either with Egypt or some 
early stone-hewing people before they h.'t't their homes in the East 
to m grate into Europe, and that they never passed through the 
rude-stone stage of architecture at any period, or at any place with 
which we are acquainted ; and as they were, so far as we know, the 
earliest colonists of the countries they afterwards occupied, it 
seems in vaia to look for dolmens where they settled. If Attila 
had lived five centuries before histead of after the Christian era, 
he Jiud his IIuus might have produced a ruile-stone age in Italy. 
The inhabitants of Etrnria were essi'ntially a burying, dead- 
reverencing people, and if they had only been thrown back to that 
stage of barbarism which the rude monuments of our forefathers 
represent, we might linve found dolmens there in thousands. 
The fate of Italy was dift'orent. Presstnl by the Celtjj of CJallia 
Cisalpiua in the north and by the Komans iu the south, Etruria 
was squeezed out of existence, but by two races more civih'zed 
and progressive thun herself. Bo fur from throwing her back 
towards barbarism, Ui>ine in adopting many of lier forms advanced 
and improved upon them, and imparted to her architecture a 
liigher and more intellectual form tlitm sliohud been herself able to 
impress upiu it. So, too, in Greece. The Dorian superseded and 
extinguished the Pelasgic forms, but after a longer interval of time. 
Four or five centuries elapsed between the last tomb we know of, 
at Mycenn?, and the earliest Doric temple at Corintli, and the 
consequence is that we see far fewer traces of the earlier people iu 
the architecture of Greece than we do in that of Eume. But 
iu neither instance was there any tendenry to retrogade to a 
dolmen stage of civilization. 

The case was widely different with such countries as Spain or 
France. There an aboriginal population had existed for thou- 
sands and tens of thousands of years, unprogreesive and incapable, 
so far as we know, of progress within themselves, and only at last 



Cbaf. IX. 

slowly and reluctantly forced by Eoman example to adopt a more 
ambitious inodo of sepulture thau a mere moimd of earth. No 
semi-civilized race ever >;ettled in their lands, and the Cartha- 
ginians at Carthiigeua or Marseilles hardly penetrated into the 
interior, and were besides iioitlicr a building nor burying race, 
and ha<l, consequently, veiy little influence on their modes of 

With Borne the case was different. She conquered and ad- 
ministered for centuries all those countries in which we find the 
earliest traces of rude-stone monuments, and she could hardly 
fail to leave some impress of her mngnificence in lands which 
she hftd so long occupied. But when she withdrew her pro- 
tecting care, France, Spain, aud Britain relapsed into, and for 
centuries remained sunk in, a state of anarchy aud barbarism as 
bad, if not worse than, that in wliich Eonie had fouud them three 
or four centuries before. It was in vain to osiiect that tho hapless 
natives could maintain either the arts or the institutions with 
which Rome had endowed them. But it is natural to suppose 
that they would remember the evidences of her greatness and her 
power, and would hardly go Iwick for their sepulchres to the 
unchambered mole-hill barrows of their forefathers, but attempt 
something in stone, though only in such rude fashion as the state 
of the arts among them enabled them to execute. 

Chap. X. 





It would be difficult to find a more curious illustration of the 
fable of '* Eyes and no Eyes " than iu the history of the discovery 
of dolmens in northern Africa, Though hundreds of tr£\veller9 
had passed through the country since the time of Bnace and 
Shavr, and though the French had possegeed Algiers since 1830, 
an author writing on the subject ten years ago would have been 
fully justified in making the assertion that there were no dolmens 
there. Yet now we know that they exist literally in thousands. 
Perhaps it would not be an exaggeration to say that ten thousand 
are known, and tlieir existence recorded. 

The first to announce the fact to the literary world in Europe 
was the late Mr. Rhind. Ho read a paper on what he called 
" Ortholithic remains in North Africa," to the Society of Anti- 
quaries in 1859, wliich was afterwards published in volume 
xxxviii. of the ' Arehicologitt.' It attracted, however, very little 
attention, perhaps in consequence of its name, but more from its 
not being illustrated. It was not really till 1863, when the lata 
Henry Christy visited Algeria, that anything really became known. 
At Constantine he formed the acquaintance of a M, Feraud, 
interpreter to the army of Algeria, who took him to a place called 
Bou Moursug, about twenty-five miles south of Constantine, where, 
during a short stay of three days, they saw and noted down 
upwards of one thousand dolmens.* M. Feraud afterwards pub- 
lished an account of these in the * Mdmoires de la Soci^te arch^ 
logique de Constantine ' for 18G3, and the subject having attracted 
some attention in Europe, a second memoir appeared in the 
following year, which contained a good deal of additional infor- 
mation collected from dit!erent district officers. Since then various 
memoirs have been published in Algeria and France. One by 

' InterDAtioukl CougKM,' Norwioh Tolume, 1869, p. lOti. 



Crap. X. 

the now celebrated General Pakllicrbe " speaks of tliree tbousand 
toniba in the single necropolis at Roknia, and of another equally 
extensive witliin a few leagues of Con.stuntine." * An excellent 
resume of tlie whole subject will bo found in the Norwich volunio 
of the luternatioual Preliistoric Congress, by Mr. Flo\?er. From 
all these we gather a fair general idea of the subject, but, 
uufoi-tunately, none of the memoirs are written by persons com- 
bining extensive local experience with real archseological know- 
ledge, except, perhaps, Mr. Flower. No plan of any one group 
has yet been given to the world, nor are any of the monumenls 
illustrated with such details and measurements as wo\ild enable 
one to speak with certainty regarding them. This is espe- 
cially the case with those represented in the ' Exploration 
scicutifiquo do I'Algerie,' published by the French Government. 
Thta'c are in this work nuinerons representations of dolmens 
carefully and bcanlifully draM'ii, but very seldom with scales 
nttaehed to them j and as no text has yet been published, they are 
(tf comparatively little value for the purposes of research. Had 
Mr. Christy lived a little longer, these deficiencies would doubt- 
less have been supplied ; but, unfortunately, his mantle has not 
fallen on any worthy successor, and we must wait till some one 
appears who combines leisure and means with the knowledge 
and entliusiasm which characterized that noble-minded man. 

It need hardly bo added that no detailed map exists showing 
the distribution of the dolmens in Algeria,' and aa many of the 
names by which they are known to French archteologists are 
those of villages not marked on any maps obtainable in this 
country, it is very difficult to trace their precise position, and 
nlmost always ini[)Ossible to draw with certainty any inferences from 
their distribution. In so far as we at prci^ent know, the principal 
dohneii region is situated along and on either side of a line drawn 
from Bona on the coast to Butna, sixty miles south of Coustantine. 
But around Petit", and in localities nearly due south from Boujie, 
they are said to be in eiiorinous numbers. The Commandant 
Payen reports the number of menhirs thei-e as not less than ten 

' Norwidi Tolunie of ' Prehistoric 
Congrt'He,' p. ItHJ. 

' A Tory imperfect one apjirarrd in 
the ' Itcrnr nri)ici)l'>gif|Uf,' in 180r>, 

vol. xi. pL T. It coQtainol moct of the 
Diuues of pluces wlicro duliiionii wciti tlu'ti 
kuntni to exist, but our knowliMlgp hiu 
Well iuimi'Ogclv <xlfndt<l sincf then. 

Chap. X. 



thousand, averaging from 4 to 5 f.^pt in Iieigbt. One colossal 
monolith he describes us 2G ft>et in dianift^r at its baso and 
52 feet bigh.^ This, however, is surpassed by a dolmen situated 
near Tiuret, desiTibfd by the Commandant Bernard. According 
to his account the cap-stone is 65 feet long hj 26 feet broad, 
and y feet 6 inclios thick ; and this enormous mass is placed 
on other rocks which rise between 30 and 40 feet above the 
snrfiioe.* It' tliis is true, it is the most enormous (bjlmcii known, 
and it is strange that it should have escajted observation so 
long. Even the most upathetic traveller might liave been asto- 
nished at such a wonder. Whether less gigantic specimens of the 
class exist in that neighbourhood, vve are not told, but they do in 
detached putc:hes everywhere eastward throughout tht> province. 
Those described by Mr. Rhind are only twelve uiilea from Algiers, 
and (it hers are said to exist in great numbers in the regency of 
Tripuli.^ So far as is at present known, they aro not found in 
Morocco, but are foiind everj'where between Mount Atlas and 
the Syrtes, and apparently not near the sites of any great cities, 
or known centres of popiUation, but in valleys and remote corners, 
as if belonging to a nomadic or agricultural pipnlution. 

\Vheu we speak of the ten thousand or, it may be, twenty 
thousand stone sejuik-hral monuments 
that arenuw known to exist in nortliern 
Africa, it must not be underKtood that 
they are all dolmens or circles of the 
class of which wo have hitherto been 
speaking. Two other classes certainly 
exist, in some places, apparently, in 
considerable numbers, though it is 
difficult to make out in what pro- 
portion, and how far their forms are 

-^ 1.1 1 Til '*'- Biilna. From Flower's P»pCT. 

local. One of these classes, called 

Buzina by the Arabs, is thus described by Mr. Flower : — " Their 

general character is that of three concentric enclosures of stones 


' ' Mcnioir«'8 ile la Soc. arch, tje CouKtantinr,' 1864, |>. 127. 

* Fluwor, in Norwich vohuuc, |i. 204. 

• ' Mteioirea, etc., dc Constantine,' 18G4, p. 124. 



Chap. X. 

of greater or less dimensions, so arranged as to form a series of 
steps. Sometimes, indeed, there are only two outer circles, and 
occasionnlly only one. The diameter of the larger axis of that 
here represented is about 30 feet. In the centre are iisualiy 
found three long and slender upright stones, forming three sides 
of a long rectangle, and the interior is paved with pebbles and 
broken stones. 
" The Chouchas are found in the neighbourhood of the Bazinas, 

and are closely allied to them. They 

consist of courses of stones regularly 

built up like a wall, and not in steps 

like the liazinas. Their diameter 

varies from 7 to as much as 40 feet ; 

but the height of the highest above 

the soil does not exceed 5 to 10 feet. 

They are usually capped and covered 

by a large flag-stone, about 4 inches 

thick, under which is a r<?gular trough 

or pit formed of stones from a foot and 

a half to 3 feet in thickness. The interior of these little towers is 

paved like the Bazinas; and indeed M. Payen considers that they 

an.' the equivalents in the mountains of the Bazinas in the plains." * 

In many instances the chouchas and bazinas are found combined 


I Si. ChoiidiA. From a drawing by 
Mr. Flower. 


Dolmen on SUpL FVoin 'Ezplontloo ■dasUBqiic de I'Atgcrle,' 

in one monument, and sometimes a regular dolmen is mounted on 
steps similar to those of a bazina, as shown in the annexed 
woodcut, representing one existing halfway between Conatantine 

' Flower, in Norwich Tolnmc, pp. 201 gl mqq. 

Chap. X. 



and Bona. But, ia fact, there is no conceivable combination which 
does not seem to be found in these African cemeteries ; and did we 
know them all, they might throw considerable light on some 
questions (hat are now very perplexing. 

The chouchas are found sometimes isolated, and occasionally 10 to 
12 feet apart from one another in groups. In certain localities the 
smnmits and ridges ol" the liilk are covered with them, while on the 
edges of steep cliffs they form fringes overhanging the ravines. 

In Ijoth these classes of monuments the bodies are almost always 
found in a doubled-up posture, the knees being brought up to 
the chin, and the aims crossed over the breast,' like lliose iu the 
Axoviilla tomb described above (page 312). 


■^ donoc 

8 ^^^ a err cytnao^rp 


Tnmull, with Intcrmedlmtfl Uim of 81000^ 

The most remarkable peculiarity of the tumuli and circles in 
Algeria is the mode in which they are connected together by 

*' « " • *. ^ 1L 


1 /A'^nW 'vT-Sn* t-^ 

IIH. Oroap of Sepnlchnl HoowiieDtf, AlgerU. 

double lines of stones — as Mr. Flowers expresses it, like beads on a 
strins: — in the manner shown in woodcut No. 167. What the 
object of this was has not been explained, nor will it be easy to 
gaess, till we have more, and more detailed, drawings than we now 
possess. Mr. Feraud's plate xxviii.' shows such a line zigzagging 

> ■ MeinoireB, uto., de Conatantine,' 1864, pp. 109, 114. 


arross the jjlam between two heights, like a line of field fortil 
tions, nnd with dohnens and tnmidi sometimos behind or in fr 
of tlie lilies, and at olbers strung upon it. At first eight it looka 
lilcf Ihe representation of a battle-field, but, again> what are 




Plan uid KleTiitkm of AIMam Tumulut. From Fjmxt 

make of such a group as that represented in woodcut 168 

the previous page? It is tlie most extensive plan of any on€ 
tht'A' groups which hns yet been published, but it must bo receive 
with caution.'' There is no seule attached tu it. The triple circles 
with dolmens I take to be tuniuli, like those of the Aveyron 
(woodcuts Nos. 8 and 122), but the whole must be regarded fl^| 
diagrnra, not us a phm, and as such very unsafe to reason upoF 
Still, as it wrtaijily is not iuvented, it shows the curious manner 
in which these moQuments are joined together, as well as the 
various forms whioli they take. fl 

One of these {?) is represented iu plan and elev^atiou in the fflP 
nexed wonidcut Utl>.^ It is, as will be observed, almost identical — 

' ' McmoircB, etc., de CfmalHntino.' 
* Another is piibliiihed liy M. Bour- 
gui^al, in Lin'BIonuiiieut* gyiiilKiliijuea 
de TAlgeru-,' pi. i., but it in ulill luuru 


* I bavp Ut-n oliliRwl to takw 
liberties with M. F6miid'» ciiU ; tho] 
and ulovatiim are bo eiilin>ly iliacrcpant, 
tliut ciiic or txitb must bv wixiug. I havu 
brought thbiii a little more iuto ha 


Chap. X. 



making allowance for bad drawing — with tliose of Aveyron just 
referred to, or with the Pcandinavinn exnmples as exemplified in 
the diagram (woodcut No, 109). Ab this class with the external 
dolmen on the summit seems to he very extensive in Algeria, 
indeed iilmost typi<-iii, im examiuatiou of their inturior would at 
once solve the mystery of their arningenients, and tell us whether 
there was a seooiid cist on the ground level, or where the body was 
deposited. Where tlie dolmen stands free, hut on the Hut ground, 
as is the case with tliut shown in this cut (No. 170), with two rows 
of stones surrounding it, the body was deposited in a cist formed 

IV-IHK-n »ltli I'm™ Clrcln nf .Slun». Fn.m Ki'-r»ii>l. 

between the two uprights that support the cap-stone, which are 
carried down some T) or fj feet into the ground for that puri»ose. 
My impression is that the same arrangement i.^ met with in those 
which are raised, and that either the supports of the cap-stone 
are carried down to the ground fi»r that purpose or that an 
indept'ndcnt cist is rnrniod directly under the visible one. 

The dolmen in tliis last instance is of the usual Kit's Cotty 
House style, cnns^^ting of three upright stones supporting the 
rap-stonc. S<jmetiraes the outer row of stones is replnced by ft 
circular pavement of flnt stonr s.' forming what may be Kupposed 
to be a processiiin path round the monununt; but in fact hardly 
any two are exactly alihe, and when we come to deal with 

I'niiwtwic ConKre«a,' Norwich voliiinp, p. 199. 

2 D 



Chap. X. 

thouBauds, it requires very complete knowledge of the whole 
before any classification can be attempte'l. Suffice it to say liere 
tluit there is hardly any variety met with elsewhere of which a 
cumiterpart cannot bo tbuiid in Algeria. 

Of their general appearance as objecta in the landscape, the 
annexed woodcut will convey a tolerable idea. They seem to 

.'- ,»iat»»ife 


ITI. nalnivni on tb« Road from Bcnui to Cumttwillna. From 'EsplontioD ideDljfiqoe de rAlgrrir. ' 

affect the ridges of the hills, but they also stretch across the plain, 
and in fact are found everywhere and in every possible jKjsitioOi 

Except apparently on 
the sea-coast, nothing 
like the Viking graves, 
so far as is known, 
is found in Algeria ; 
whether this indicates 
that they were a sea- 
faring people or not is 
not <]niU' clear, but it is 
a distinction worth bear- 
ing iu uiind. 

l))io curious group is 
perhni>s worth quoting 
as a means of compa- 
rison with the graves 
of A-schenrade (woodcut No. 119), It consists of four tumuli 
enclosed in four squares joined together like the squares of a 
chetis-board. Single squares enclosing cairns ai'e common enough 

Og> «cdo oca c;<::ic=> t>» ^ cs cs o 

03 ,^:K^Vi?C^ 0' 







Four Qilnii cnclotml in Square*. 
(Fmrn 'Sfw. Kfch. de ConnUnltae.' IS(M.) 

Chap. X. 



in Scflndiuavia, but this conjoined arrangement is rare and 
remarkable, and its similarity to the Livoaian example is so 
great that it can hardlj-^ be accidentiil. The Aschonrade graves, 
it will bo recollei'ted, contained coins of t!ie Caliplis extending 
down to A.D. i>iJ!>, and German coins down to 1010. There 
would, therefore, be no a priori imjirobability in these graves 
in Algeria being as late, if the similarity of two monumeuls so 
far npart can be considered as proving identity of age. Without 
unduly pressing the argument, the points of resemblnnce which 
exist everywhere between the Northern Europe and North African 
nionumeuts appear to prove that the Litter may bo of any £kge 
down to the tenth or eleventh centiu-y, but any decision as to 
their real date must depend on the local circumstances attending 
each individnal example. 

The precetliug woodciifs are perliajjs sufficient to explain the 
more general and more tyj)ical forms of Algerian dohiiens, but 
they are so numerous and so varied that ten times that number of 
illustrations would hardly suffice to exhibit alt their peculiarities. 
Their study, however, is comparatively uninteresting, till we 
know more of their contents, and till something definite is accepted 
as to their age. When, however, we turn to examine that,* we 
find the data from which our conclusions must be drawn both 
meagre and unsatisraelory. Such jus they are, however, they cer- 
tainly all tend one way. In the first place, (he negative evidence is 
complete here as elsewhere. The (ireeks, the Romans, and the 
ivly Christians were all familiar with northern Africa, and there is 
not one whisper as to any s<ich monuments having been seen by 
any of them. When we consider our own ignorance of their exis- 
tence till some ten years ago, it may be said that such evidence 
does not go for much ; bnt it is worth allmliug to, as a liint in the 
opposite direction would be considered final, and a-s its absence, at 
all events, leaves the question open. On the other hand, all the 
traditions of the country as reportwl by ^I. Feiaiid, and others, and 
repeated by M. Bertmud and Mr. Flower, ascribe those monuments 
to the pagan inlmbitants who occupied the country at the time of 
the Mahommedan conquest. Thus (page 1*27) : " At the epoch 
the ]l\[ussulman invasion these countries were inhabited by a 

2 D 2 




pagan jMjpulation, wlro elevated these vast ranges of stone to ar 
the invading host." Or. again, they even name the prince 
opposed the conquerors. Thus (page 117): " Formerly at Macl 
lived a pagan prince called Abd en Nar — fire worshipper. He 
married Zana, qiu.'en of a city now in ruins bearing that na^f 
When the Arabs conquered Africa, Abd en Nar abjured BW 
crown, became a Mussulman, and from that time called hiii 
Abd en Nour — worshipper of the light." ' 

This, too, must be taken for what it is worth ; but in a cem 
near Djiil jeli, on tiie north coast, there is a curious tomb form 
a circle of stones like those of the pagan ci&ta, with a head 
which, if it is not the turban-stone tliat is usually found inTur 


Tntnl* noiir li|i.|ieii. IrMin * Explorstloii ideiiUnqui- Ae WVgrrif.' 

tombs of modern <late, i.** most singularly like it. That ttie 
cemetery belongs to the 3rahf)mmcdans seems clear, but tho circles 
of stones, though small, iudicato u very imperfect conversion — ^ju* 
such as the tradition indicates. 


TlicsG ar;rumeiit.s, liowever, acquire something like consistency 
when we come to examine the contents of the tnmbs themselves. 
One of them (No. 4) is descTibcd by -Mr. Feraud as surroundetl by 
a circular enceinte, 12 metres, nearly 40 feet, in diameter. The 
cliamber of the dohnc-u measured 7 feet by M feet 6 inches. At 
the feet of the skdetou were the bones and teetli of a horse, and 
tn iron bridle-bit. In the same grave were found a ring of iron, 
another ring with various other objects in copper (bronze ?), 
fragments? of pottery of a 8U|>ennr quality, and fragments 

■ 'Mt'iuuirt^ &«.>., (If Ouuatmitinf,' ISfH. 

Chak. X. 



worked flint implements, and lastly a meilul uf the Empress 
Faustiun.' .\11 the three ages were couaequently represented in 
the one tomb, and yet it certainly belonf!:s to the second century. 
None of the others give such distinct evidence of their age, but 
M. liertraad, who is a strong advocate for the preliistorio age of 
French dolmens, sums np his impressions of M. F^raud's discoveries 
in the foUoMing words: " Ceux de la province do Constantine ne 
jiuuvarent, a en jnger par ]es objoJs qui y ont etc trouves, etre do 
heaueoup nntiTienr a I'ere chretieiine; quelques-uns mfime seraient 
postcrieurs." ' 

In addition to v\liiit he found inside the tombs, M. Fi'raud dis- 
covered a Latin inscription in tlie cajHstone of a dolmen near Sidi 
Kacem. The lettera are too miicli worn to enable the sense of the 
inBcription to be made out, but quite sufficient remains to prove 
that it is in Latin, and. fnan the form of the letters, of a late tyfie." 

Monsieur Leteriioiix found hewn stones and even iniluninar 
shafts of Roman workmanship among the materials out of which 
the bazinos at the foot of the Aurt s 
chain had been constructed, and he 
gives a drawing of a cippus of late 
Homau workmanship, bearing an 
inscription in Berber character, 
wiiich he identifies with tliose on 
two upright stones of rude form, 
one of which forms parts of a circle 
near Bona.* 

In addition to these there are 
numerous instances among the 
plates which form the volume of 
the ' Exploration seientifique de 
TAl^crie' where the rude-stone 

monuments are so mixed up with those of late Roman and 
early Cljristian character that it seems impossible to doubt 
that thoy are contemporary. As no text, however, has yet 
been published to accompany these plates, it is most unsafe 



Circle near Itutiii. 

' ' Itwiiu ajvlicologiqne,' viii. p. 527. 

' Il,i,l I. $. f. 

' ' Mrinriirpg, ke., d(» ConiitAntino,' 

18»ll, J). I2'i, pi. XXX.. 

• KI..W(r. ill Xorwu'li volunw, jip. 2()2- 



Chai*. X. 

to rely uii any iutlivitlual examjile, wliii'h from some fault of 
the draughtsman or engraver may be misleading. The general 
impression, liovvever, whi«-h these jtlates convey is decidedly in 
favour of a post-ilomati <late, ami of their being comparatively 
modern. It requires, however, some oue on the spot, whoso 
Hltention is specially directed to the subject, to determine 
wlietlier the rude-stoiKi monuments are earlier thiui those whifli 
are hewn, or whether the contrary is not sometimes, perhaps 
always, the case. If M. Bertrand is right, and the Faustina 
torab is of ftuy value as an indication of age, certainly some-j 
times at least, the rude ruouuaieuts are tho more modern. 
Carthage fell B.c. 140, and the Jugurthau war ended B.C. 100, 
and it is impossible to conceive that a people like the llomans, 
would possess as they did the sovereignty of uoiilierii Africa, after ; 
that date, and not leave their mark on it, in the shape of buildings 
of various sort«. If we adopt the usual progressive thoi»ry, all 
must be anterior to n.c. 100; for on that hypothesis it would be 
considered most improbable that after long contact with Cartha- 
ginian civilization and under the direct influence of that of Itoine 
anyone could prefer rude uncommunicative masses to stmcturea 
composed of polished and engraved stones. It certainly was bo, 
however, to a very great extent, and my impression is, for the 
reasons above given, that the bulk of these Nuilh African dolmens 
are subsequent to the Christian era, and that they extend «ell into 
the period of the Mahommedau domination, for it could not, for a 
long time at least, have been so complete as entirely to obliterate 
the feelings and usages so long indulged in by the aboriginal 
inhabitants of the country. Nothing, indeed, would surprise me 
less than if it were eventually shown that some of these rude-stone 
monuments extended do^^n to the times of tho Crusades. As, 
however, we are not yet in a powtiou to prove this, it is only put 
forward here as a suggestion, in order that those who may here- 
after have the task of opening these tombs may not reject any 
evidence of their being bo late, as they probably would do if 
imbued with prciiistoiic prejudices. 

It is to be feared that the question who the people were that set 
up these Africaiy dolmens must wait for an answer till wo know more 
of the ethnography of northein Africa in juiciint times than we do 

Cbap. X. 



at present. The only people who, so far as we now see, seem to 
be able to claim them, are the Nosamones. From Herodotus we 
learij tiuit this people burioil their dead sitting, with their knees 
doubled up to tlieir ehiiis, niid were po piirticuhir about this that, 
when u luuii was dyiupr, they proppod him liji that ho might die 
in that attitude (iv. 190). We also learn I'roiu him that they had 
such reverence fur the toinbs of their aueestora that it was their 
practice in their suk-mn Jbnu of oatli to lay their hands on these 
tombs, and so invoke their sanction ; and iu their mode of divina- 
tion they used to sleep in <ir i.n these sepulchres (iv. 172). All 
this would agree perfectly with \ihftt we liud, but Ilerodotiia unfor- 
tunately never visited the country nor saw these tombs, and eou- 
Bequontly does not describe them, and we do not know whether (hey 
were mere mounds of earth, or eairns of stone, or dolmens such as are 
found in Africa. It is also unfortunate for their claim that, in his 
day, the Nasamones lived near the Syrfes and to the eastward of 
them (ii. '6*2), and it fieems hardly possible that they could have 
inereased and multiplied to such an extent iu the four following 
centuries as to occupy northern Africa as far as Mouut Atlas, 
without either the Greeks or tlie llomang having known it. They 
are mentioned again by Curtius (iv. 7), by Lucan (ix. v. 439), 
and by Silius Italicus (ii. v. IIG and xi. v. 180), but always as 
a plundering Libyan tribe, never as a great people occupying the 
nortiieru eoiuitry. Their claim, therefore, to be considered the 
authors of the thousands of dolmens which aro even now found iu 
the province of Algeria, seems for the jiresent wholly inadmissibla 

JStill less can wo admit M. Bertrand's theory alluded to above, 
that the doliuen-builders migrated from the Baltic to Britain, and 
thence through France and Spain to Africa. Such a migration, 
requiring lung laud journeys and sea voyages, if it took place at 
alL is ujucii more likely to have been accomplished when com- 
mercial intercourse was established, and the North Sea and the 
IMeditermnean were covered with sailing vessels of all sorts; but 
(hen it is unlikely that a rude p'ople, as the dolmcn-buildcra 
are assumed to be, could have availed themselves of these trade 

Still no one can look at such monuments as this of Aveyron 
(woodcuts Nofl. 8 and 122) and compare them with those of Algeria, 



Chai'. X. 

oC which wocxk'ut No. ltJ9 is a tvpe, witljout feeliug that there was 
a connection, and an intinrnte one, at the dolmen perioJ, between 
the people on tlie iiorlherti witli those on the sontheru shorfts 
ol'lho Mf'diterraueaii, whidi cxiu only bo accounted for in one of 
three ways. 

Either it was that history was only repeating itself when 
Marshal Bougoaiid kuidcd in Alj^eria in IS3I), and proceeded to 
conquer and colonise Algeria lor tfie French. Or we must assume, 
as hjis often been done, that some people wandering from Ike east 
to colonise western Europe left tliese traces of their passage in 
Africyi on their way westward. The third hyijolhesis is that 
already insisted upon at the end of the Scandiuavion chapter, 
which regards these rude-stone monuments as merely the result 
of a fashion which sprung up at a partieidar period, and was 
adopted by all those people who, like the Nasauiones, reverenced 
their dead and practised uueestral worship rather than that of an 
external divinity. 

Of all these three hypotheses, the second seems the least 
tenable, thuugli it is the one most generally adopted. The 
Pyraniids were built, on the most moderate computation, at least 
30UO B.C.' Egypt was then a highly civilized and populous 
country, and the art of cutting and polisliing stones of the hardest 
nature had reached a degree of perfeetion in that country in those 
days which has never since been 6urpasae<l, and must have been 
practised for thou&inds of years before that time in order to reach 
the stage of perfection in which we there find it. Is it possible 
to conceive any savage Eastern race rushing acrosa the A'ile on 
its way westward, and carrying their rude arts with them, and con- 
tinuing to practise them for four or five thousand years afterwards 
without change ? Either it seems more probable to assume that 
the Egyptians would have turned them baek, or if they had 
sojourned in their land like the Israelites, and then departed 
because they found the bnndnge intolerable, it is almost certain 
that tliey would have carried with them some of the arts and 
civilization of the people among whom they had dwelt. If such a 
migration did take place, it must have been in prehistoric times 

' Hiitoiy of Arohitectnrei,' i. p. 81. 

Chap. X. 



80 remote that its occurrence can liavo but littlt- bearing on tho 
argument as to who built tln^si? Algerian monuments. But di i 
they come by sea ? Did the dolmen-buiidiug races embark from 
the ports of Palestine or those of Asia Minor? Were they in 
fact the far-lame 1 Phcenicinns, to v\hom iiutiquaries have been so 
fond of ascribing these structure-i. The first answer to this is that 
there are no dolmens in Phcenicia, and that they have not yet 
been found near Carthage, nor Utiea, nor in Sicily, nor indeed 
anywhere where the Phoauiciatis had colonies. They are not even 
found at Mar^jeilles, where they settled, though ou the western bauk 
of the Klione, whore they had no estnbUshnients, they are found in 
numbers. They may have trailed with Coruvvul), and discovered 
lands even farther north, but to assume that bo small a people 
could have erected all tlio me^'altthic remains found in Seau- 
dinavia and the continent of France, and other countries where 
they never settled, perhaps never visited, is to ascribe gresit 
effects to causes so insignificant as to be wholly incommensurable. 
So wholly inadequate does the Phceuiciau power seem to have 
been to produce such effects, that the propositJon would probably 
never have been brought forwaixl had the extent of tlie dolmen 
region been known at the time it was suggested. Even putting 
the element of time ositle, it is now clearly untenable, and if there 
is any truth in the date ohove assigned to this class of monu- 
ments, it is mere idleness to ai^ue it. 

The idea of a migration from France to Algeria is by no means 
so illogical. The French dolmens, so far as is now known, seem 
certainly older than the African — a fact which, if capable of jiroof, 
is fatal to the last suggestion — and if we assume that this chiss of 
monument was invented in western Europe, it only requires that 
the element of time should be .suitable to establish this hypothesis. 
When the Celts of central Gaul, six ceuturies bofi»ro the Christian 
era, biigan to extend their limits ami to press ujiou those of the 
itquitaniaus, did the latter flee from Iheir oppressors to seek 
refuge in Africa, as at a latter period the dulnieu-builders of Spain 
sought repose in the green island of (he west? There certainly 
appears to be no great improbability that they may hove done so 
to such au extent as to cause the adoption of this form of archi- 
tecture after it had become prevalent elsewhere; and as tho 



Chap. X. 

encroaching Celts, down to tbo prosecution of the middle agea, 
may liuvo driv«?n continual streams of colonists in the same 
direction, iLis would account fnr all the jihenomena we find, 
jirovided we may ascribe that nitiderii date to the Algerian 
examples which to me appears undoubted. 

It is hardly probable, however, that the Aquitanians would 
have smifrbt refuge In Africa unless some kindred tribe existed 
there to aflord tbeni shcdter and a welcome. If such a race 
did exist, that would go far to get rid of most of the difficulties 
of the problem. We are, however, far too ignorant of North 
African ethtiography to bo able to say whether any such jieople 
were there, or if so, who their representatives may now be, aiul 
till our ignorance is dispelled, it is idle to speculate on mere 

We know something of the migrations of the peoples settled 
around the Bboreg of the Mediterranean for at least ten centuries 
before the birth of Christ, but neither in Greek or Roman or 
Cathaginiaii history, nor in any of the traditions of their litera- 
ture, do «o find a hint of any migration of a rude people, either 
across Egypt or by sea from Asia, and, wbat is perbaps more to 
the point, we have no trace of it in any of the intermediate 
islands. The Nuriiags of Sardinia, the Taluyots of the Balearic 
Islands, are monuments of ijiiite a ditlercut class from anything 
fouuil In France or Algeria. 80 too are the tombs of Maltti, and, 
as just mentioned, there are no such remains in Sicily. 

We seem thus forced back on the third hyptitbesis, which 
contemplates the rise of a dolmen stylo of architecture at some 
not very remote perio<l of the workl's history, and its general 
diffusion among all those kindretl races of mankind with whom 
re8[)ect for the sjurits of deceased oucestors was a leading 


Dr. Barth seems to be the only traveller who hiis in recent times 
explored tlie regions about Tripoli to a sufficient extent and with 
the requisite know ledge to ejiable him to observe whether or not 
iexe were auv rude-stone monuineuts in that district. AUmt 

Chap. X. 

THlKlLl.— TltiLn IIONS. 


halfway between Moursiik and Ghat, lie observud " a circle Itiid 
out very regulnrly with large slabs, like the opening of ti well ; 
and, on the plain aljove the cliffs, another circle regularly laid out, 
"and," he adds, "like the many circles seen in Cy reiiaica and in 
other parts of Northern Africa, evidently couueeted with the 
religions rites of the ancient inhabitants of these regions." ' This 
is meagre enough ; but fortunately, in addition to this, ho observed 
and drew two monuments which are of equal and perhaps even of 
more importance to our present purjwses. 

One of these, situated at a place called Ksaea, about forty-five 
miles cast by south from Tripoli, eou- 
Btsts of six pairs of trilitlions, similar to 
that represente<l in the annexed wood- 
cut. No plan is given of their arrange- 
ment, nor docs Dr. Harth speculate ns to 
their use ; he only remarks that " they 
could never have been intended as doors, 
for the space between the upright stones 
18 so narrow that a man of ordinary size 
could hardly sipieeze his way between 

The other, situated at Elkcb, about 
the same distance from Tripoli, but south 
by eiist, is even move ciiriuus. It, U>o, 
is a trilithon, but the suppoi'ts, which 
are placed on a msisonry platform two steps in height, slope 
inwards, with all the ajipearauco of being copied from a car- 
pentry form, and the cap-stoue likewise projects beyond the 
uprights in a manner very unusual in masonry. Another curious 
iudioalion of its wooden origin is that the western pillar has three 
quadrangular holes on its inner side, 6 inches square, while the 
corresponding holes in the eastern pillar go quite through. 
These pillars are 2 feet square and 10 feet high, while the 
impost measures 6 feet 6 inehej!. 

In front of these pillars lies a stone with a square sinking in it 

ITS. TrlUihon oi Kwra. 

' 'Travelfl and DbcoTwies in Northern Afrii'a,' i. p. 204. ' Ibid. p. H, 

' Ibitl. p. h'i. The holes an: not ahowu in tlic cut. 



Chap. X. 

uml a sjiuut at oue Bide. Whatever this may Imve been intended 
for, it is — if ihe Avondi'iit anil desuiiptiou are to be depended, upon 
— the exact eniuit('r|iart of a Ifiudu Yoni, and iis such would not 
excite n^Mnu-k as liuving unytbiu^ imusnnl in its ajipearance if 
fouud in a tiiodem temple at Iknnres. Beyond these in the 
w<io<lcut me seen several other stones, evidently belonjring to 
the same inuiiiiTnent, vnn of which seems to have been formed^ 
into a tlu'one. 

These monuments ore not, of course, alone. There must be 
others — prolmbly many others — in the conntry, a knowledge of 
whicl) niii;ht tlirow considerable light on our enquiries. In the 
iiioanwiiile the tii-st thin;^ that: strikes one is that Jeffrey of Mon; 







Trilltbon Ht F.ttR-K Fmm I nnwlng by r>r. Ilnnli. 

mouth's assert ion, that "Giants in old days brought from Africa 
the stones which the raugii! arts uf Jlerlin afterwards removed 
from Kildare and set up at Stonehenge," ' is not so entirely 
devoid of foundation as mi;^ht at first sight ajipear. The removal 
of the stones is, of course, absurd, but the suggestion and design 
may possibly have travelled west by this route. 

If we now turn back to page 100, it eeems irajiossiblc not to 

' 'British Hiet'Tv,' viii. dmii. ii. 



Chap. X. 

be struck vudi the likeness that exists between woodcut No. 25 
anil woodcuts 175 and 17H, especially the first. 8udi similarity ia 
more than sufRciont to take away all improbability from Dr. Bartli's 
sug^gestion that " the tracts of art vvliich tlioy display may be 
ascribed to Roman influence." It also renders it nearly certain 
that these African trilithons were sepulchral, and adds another 
to tho many proofs adduced above tliat Stonehenge was both 
sepukhral and post-lJotnan. 

The most curious point, however, connected with these monu- 
ments is the suggestion of Indian influence which they— especially 
that at Elkeb — give rise to. The iiitrudiutiou of sloping jambs, 
derived fnun caritcntry forms, can be traced back in India, in the 
caves of Behar ' ami the Western Ghats, to the second eejitury 
before Clirist, but certainly to no earlier date. The carpentry 
furnis, but without the sloping jambn, continued at Sanchi and 
the Ajunta caves till some time after the Christiiin era, and where 
wood is used has, in fact, continued tu tlic presuut day. " Mutatis 
mutandis," no two rnonunients can well be more alike to one 
another than tliat at Elkeb and the Buddhist tomb at Bangkok, 
rejtrt^sented in woodcut 177. The Siamese tomb may be a hundred 
years old; and if we allow the Africtin trilithon to be late Roman, 
we have some fourteen or fifteen centuries Ixtween iheni, which, 
certainly, is as long as can reasonably be demanded. In reality 
it was probably less, but if the one was prehistoric, we lose alto- 
gether the thread of association and tradition that ought to 
connect the two. 

To all this we shall have occuHion to rtturn, and then to discuss 
it more at length, when speaking of the Indian monuments and 
their connection witli those of the West. In the meanwhile these 
two fLirni a stc'pi>ing-stone uf Kuflicient inipdrtaix^c to make us 
feel how tlesiralde it is that tlie country Avhcre they are found 
should be more carefully examined. My impression is that the 
key to most of our mysteries is hidden in these African deserts. 

'Hielory nf Arrliitfctiire,' hy tin- .\titJior, ii. p. 4sa. 

Chap. XI. 




meditrhraneax islands. 

Befoee leaviug the Mediterntnean Sea and the countries bordtM'ing 
upitu it, it seems desirable tn say a few words rej^ardiug cortiiiri 
" uon-liistnric" inoniiments which exist in ils islnmls. Strietly 
speaking, they liardly come witliin the limits assigned to this Ixiok, 
fur they are not truly megalithic in the sense in which the term has 
been used in the previous pages ; fur though stones 15 feet and 
20 feet high are used in (he Ulaltese nionumentti, tliey are slmpeil 
and, it may be said, hewn with metal tools, and they are used oon- 
structively with smaller stones, so as to form walls and roofs, and 
cuiiuot tlierefore be considere<l aa Rude Stone Monuments. Still 
they have 8o much afliuity with these, and are so mixed up in all 
works treating of the subject with Druidic^il remains and pre- 
historic mysteries, that it certainly seems expedient to explain as 
far a.s po.«sible their forni.s and uses. 

The monuments are of three classes. The first, found in I^Ialta, 
are there called giants' towers — "Torre dei giganti" — a name having 
no meaning, but whieli, an also involving no hypothesis, it may bo 
oonvciiieut to adhere to. The second class, called Nurhags, are 
peculiar to Sardinia. The third, or Talyots, are found only in 
the Balearic islands. There may be some connection between the 
two last groups, but even then with certain local peculiarities 
sutTicient to distinguish them. The Maltese nionnuiriits however 
stand alone, and have certainly no connection with the other two, 
and, as it will appear in tlui sequel, none of the three have any 
very dear alTiuity with any known monuments on the continent of 
either Europe or Africa. 


The best known monuments of the Maltese grou|>s are situated 
near the centre of the Isle of CJozo, in the commune of Bjirbato, 



Chap. XT. 

Wheu Houel wrote in 1787.' only the outside wall with the apse 
of one of the inner elmmbcrs and the entrance of another 
were known, fie mistook the right-hand apse of the second pair 
of chauji'crs for part of a circle, and so represented it with a 
dolmen in the centre, led to this apparently by the existence of 
a real circle which then was found at a distance of 350 yards from 
the main group. This circle was 140 feet in diameter, composed 
of stones ranged close together and alternately bruad and tall, 
as shown in the next woodcut, which represents the rear of the 
principal nionninent. The entrance was marked by two very tall 
stones, apparently 20 feet higli. The interior was apparently 
rugged, but there is nntlitng in the plates to show from what 
cause. When }Iouel made his plan,* it had all the appearance of 
being wliat was styled a regular" Dniidieal circle," and might have 
been used as such to support any Jlruidical theory. It is now 
however evident that it really was only the commencement of the 
envelojie of a pair of chambers, such as we find in all the monu- 
ments of this class on these islands. If the plan is correct, it was 
the most regular of any, which, besides its having every appearance 
of never having been completed, would lead us to suppose that 
it was the last of the series. Tliis monument has now entirely 
disappeared, as iias also another of even more megalithic 
appearance which stood within a few yards of the principal 
group, but of which uu fortunately we have neither plan nor 
details. It is shown with tolerable distinctness in a view in 
Mr. Fiero's possession, aud in the plates which are engraved from 
drawings by a native artist, which Admiral Smyth brought home 
in 1S27,' and which are engraved in VLdinne xxii. of the ' Archne- 
ologia.' Unlortunatnly the text that acconijmnies these plates 
is of the most uttsatisfactory ciiaractcr. This ho partially explains 
by saying that be had left his measurements with Colonel Otto 
Beyer, who had just caused the princi[)al pair of chambers to 
be excavated. 

The second pair of chambers was excavated by Sir Henry 

' ' Viiyn;^ pittorcsquc en Sicilc et nine, u ilnplicji»i> of wliich hfts kimlly 
Miillf,' -1 vrila. fdljii, T'ariB, I7S7. Hmio li nt to ine by Mr. Frfn?, fif RnrJon 

* /fci'iJ. pi. poxli. Itnll.N.irfiilk. T'lifortunali'ly tliiTV ibin' 

* Tlir tlin»e fiiniutl jart of n et'l nt iirtiittV iinmr, nnii no ilatp, ii]Kin tiic-m. 

Chap. XL 



BouTerio when he wfts governor, some time before or about ISSCt, 
when a careful plan and chjuviiif^ of the whole were publishetl by 
Count de la Marmora.* It has been re-engraved by GaOhabaud 
and otlioi-K, and is woll knavvn to archaxilogists. 

The monuments thus Lroiirrlit to light consisted of two pairs of 
elli|>ticnl chambers very diuilar in dimensions and plan to those 
at Miiaidra (woodcut No. 179). The greatest depth internally 
from the entrance to the apse of tlio [jrinripat pair is 90 feet; 
the grcattst. width across both 130 feet. The riglit-hand pair as 
you enter is comparatively plain. Tho outer charaber of the 
left-hand pair still retained, when excavated, littings that looked 
like an altar in tho rrght-hnnd apso, which was sopurat^d from the 
rest Ity what may be culled tlie choir-screeu or altjir-ruil ; iiiid tliis 
was ornamented with spirals and geometric figures neatly ami 
sharply eut. In the inner (•haHil>er was a stone, near the entrance, 

v-riWii^. A^ 


View at tbe Mieriw o( the 0)uu' Towtr U Gu», Fron ■ drkwing In Uw 

{KMKMdoD of Sir Btuil* ^Ydv, K.C B. 

on which was a bas-relief of a serpent, but no other representation 
of any thing living was found elsewhere. 

Tho external appearance of the monument may be gathered 

' 'Noiivollcs Annnlr^ <\c I'lnalitut nrrliAilogiqur,' i. ; Paris, 1S36. 

2 £ 



Chap. Xr. 



from the woodcut No. 178. The lower part of the wall is i 
posed alternately — as in the circle just alluded to — of large stol 
laid on their sides and smaller ones etanding perpendicularly" 
b:>tween them. Alxjve this the courses of stones are of regular 
masonry, and probubly there was some kind of cornice or string- 
course before the beginning of the roof, but of this no trace now 
remains in any of the.* monuments. 

The second group, known as Hagiar Khom, is situated nc 
Krendi, on thi) south side of the island of Malta, and is the mC 
extensive one known. The principal monument contains, besic 
the usual parr of chambers, four or five lateral chambers; and a 
short way to tlte north is a second monument, containing at lea|^ 
one pair ; and to the south a third group, but so ruined it ^| 
diflicult to make out the plan. Only the tops of the walls and 
the tall etoues which still rise above the walls were known to 
exist of the monument, till in 1839 Sir Henry Bouverie authorize 
the expenditure of some public money to excavate it. An accoc 
of these excavations, with a plan and drawings, was published in 
Malta at tJie time by Lieutenant Foul is. The plan was repeated, 
in less detail however, in the ' Arclia;olugia,' * and afterwards in 
the Norwich volume of the International Prehistoric Congress, 
by Mr. Furze, from a survey recently made by the Roi 

I'lio third group, known as that at Mnaidra, is situated 
far from the last, between it and the sea; and as it never has 
l»een jntblished, a plan of it is given here''' from a survey made 
by Corpirnl Jlortiraer, of the Royal Eugineera. Like the Gozo 
monument, it consists of two pairs of oval chambers in juxta«- 
position. The right-hand pair, in this instance, is larger 
simpler in design than that on the left, but it is so nearl 
identii-al, both in plan and dinumsious, with the right-hand 
at Gozo that they are 2>robiibly of the same age and served 
same purjHJse. They are also, as nearly as may be, of the 




' With n paper by Mr. Vance, * ArchiDo- 
logia,' vol. xxix. p. 227. 

' For Uiis plan and th4> phntographg 
of it I am indebted to the tdndneas of 
Col. CoHiQMn, R.E., who Mcomponied 

them by & very full description 
notes on their history uud iwps, frrrm 
whieli much of the roUowiug inform at ton 
ia derived. 

witli tnnumeraljle " pit iimilclngs," jteculiur to these MaT 
iiioimmonts. D is the entrance into the other chaml«?r, \ 
but ftir the interference of tlint last described, wouhl have 
of the usual elliptical form. My impression is that the left- 
hand apse was removed at some time subsequent to the erection of 
tlie monument, to admit of its iosertion. On each side of the 
doorway are scats, c and E, which are alwaya found in similar 
situatiuns. Beyoml, at r, is one of those mysterious openings 
which fire so frequent; it is also seen wilh HUdfhcr in woodcut 
No. IS'I. Between this apartment and the upper apartment 
aro two tiers of shelves or loculi, which are also found at Goa 
and for which it is difficult to suggest a meaning if they were 
used ft'* cnluinli.iria for sepulchral purposes, 

Chap. XI, 



A difficult question here arises as to whic-Ji of these two pairs of 
iipartments is the older— the upper, with the simpler style and 
the smaller stones, or the apartmetit* with the larger stones and 
more ornate arrangements. Ou the wliole, I am inclined to think 
the simpler the older : among other rejisotia beeaiise tlie llijor of 
the right-hand pair at Mnaidra is lU feet nbove the level of the 
left-hand apurtments. As tlm edifices are all place<l on heigiit*, 
it seeniR imprnliaM<> that tlio first onmor would havi' dioson a 
site coniiiiandeil by a knoll 10 feet idMtvt' liini. and tourliinj^ his 
hiilf-buried building. But, besides this local imlication, it seems 
prol>able that the style was progressive, and that this right-hand 
chamber at I\Innidra may bo tlio oldest, and the great one at Gozo 
the last compl(^to<l of all which wo know. 

- >^^, r t ~'.v--cn.- ^-_ 

'' ■ 



5 .» :,- -'^ ^^5 


*^- ■ 














* > 




IK'i. Stinii I'jiil of IjctirluiDil viiti.r i.-UuuiLKr ul MiwMnt, fiuia ■ pUulugraiili. 

The excavations at 3Inaidra as well as those at Hngiar Khem 
have sufficed to settle the question of how these Lujlilings were 
roofed. The above woodcut, from a photograph, shows the 
springing of the roof of the north end of the outer left-hand 
fluuiibt r, but, like photographs in general, docs so unintclligently. 



Cbaf. XL 

Colonel CoLliuson, however, informs me tbat they bi-acket o^H 
wards, at, the rate of 1 fout in 10, and he calculates that they 
would lucet at a height of 30 feet so nearly that they could be 
closed by a single stone. He, however, overlooks the fact that 
all these horiKontu]ly-con.striieted domes, whether in Greece, or 
Italy, or Sardinia, are curvilinear, their section being that of a 
Gotliic pointed arcli, aiul consequently, if oorhelhug forward at 
the rate of 1 in 10 near the springing, tbey woidd certainly meet 
iu this chamber at 15 or 20 feet from their base. When we 
recollect that before the Trojan war the Pelasgic arehiteets of 
Greece roofed cliambera 50 and 60 feet in diameter \vide at 
page 33), we sliould not bo surprised at the Maltese archit 
grappling with apses of 20 feet Kpan. Tiiia has generally been 
admitted as easy, but several authors have been puzzled to tluuk 
liow tin; flat spaces joining the two apses could have been so roofia^B 
A careful examination of the plans of the Maltese building see^V 
to make this easy. Looking, for instance, at the plan of Muaidro, 
a retaining wall will be observed on the extreme right, which i^H 
segment of a circle 75 feet iu diameter, mid continuing it aiP 
round, it encloses b(jth chambers. 1 f a similar circle is drawn round 
the left-hand chambers, it equally encloses then, and the cir(^| 
osculate, or have one party wall at a point where there is the 
group of colls. This granted, it is easy to see that the external 
form of tiia roof was a stepped cone, covering the inner roofs, and 
so ttvoidiiig the ridges and hollows which would have rendered 
indept.'iident roofing impracticable. The external appearance ^| 
the building would thus have been that of two equal cones joinlP 
togi-ther, tiinl rising probtibly to ti height of 50 feet above their 
springing. Tt» erect such a cone on an enclosing wall only 8 '^f 
lU feet thick may appear at first siglit a little dillicult for sucn 
rudf builders as tlic Maltese were when they erected these domes, 
but when we recollect that the coue wius divi«led into two by a 
cross party wall, which may have been carried the whole height, 
all dilliculty vanishes. ^H 

When we apply these principles tu the ruins at llagiar Kheii^ 
th^ir history becomes plain at once. Originally the monument 
seems to have consisted of a single pair of chambers of t 
form, A and u of the accompanying plan ; but extension Itecomi 

Chap. XI. 



necciaary, the central apse of tlie inner apartment was removed 
and converted into a doorway, and the left-hand lateral apse was 
also removed so as to make au entruupe into lour other ovoid 
a]mrtnK'iit6, wLich were arranged radially so as to be covered 
by a cone 90 feet in diameter. Here again the difficulty, if any, 
of constructing a cone of these dimensions is got over by the 





100 rttt 


PUa of Ilaglir Khem, partially raloRnL 

numerous poiutsi of support from perpendieidar walls which 
honeycomb tlio building. The external appearance of this 
liiiilding would be that of one great cone 90 feet in diameter 
coveiing the cells, and anastomosing with one (jU feet, or one-third 
less, in diameter covering the entrance chambers. 

Restored in tliia manner, the external appearance iiionu- 
meuts would have been very similar to that of the Knbl>er 
Roumeia near Algiers and the Madraceu near Blidah. The 
former was 200 feet in diameter, with a cone rising in stepei to the 
height of 130 feet, which was lower in jiroportiou than suggested 


Ghaf. xr. 

above, but its interior viaa nearly solid, and admitted therefore 
any angle that might appear most bi^antiful. The Madracen loo! 
oven lower, hut no correct section of it has lH3en pnblislied. Thi 
Knbbfr Iloumcia has now been ascertained to have been the tomb 
of the Mauritanian kings down to the time of .Tuba II,, or about 
the Christian era,' Judging from its style, the Madracen may be a 
century earlier. Be this tis it may, it hanlly seems to me doubtful 
but that these tombs are late Rumau translations of a type to 


Vlrw of Modiaoen. Fnim ■ pUt« Id BUfasle/a 'Four MoDtlu In AlgcrU.' 

which the Maltese examples Ijelonged; but the intermediate linl 
in the long chiiin which connects thern have yet to be recovered. 

Internally, tlifw^ Maltese monuments nre rude, and exhibit ver^H 
little attt-mpt at ilecorntion. The inner apartnifuts, being darK^ 
are quite plain, but the outer, a<lmitting a certain qnaulity of light 
by the iloor, have a proj)ortionato amount of oniament. At Go3!^| 
in the outer apartment, there nre, as mentioned alx)ve, scrolls noC^ 
Bpirnls of u stylo very mut'li more retinetl than is found in Ireland 
or in nido monuments generally, but more resembling that of those 
found at Mycenrt> and other parti of Greece. At Iliiginr Khem 
and Mnaidra the favourite ornament are pit markings. Wheth 


I Rcibruggrr, 'Tombeau dc In Clin^tienue — Alaueolcu tlra dcmien itoiii dc Mauri - 
Ituiie:' Algrr, 1H«7. 

Chap. XI. 



these have any affinity with those which Sir J. Simpsou so copioxwly 
illustrated,' is by no means clear. In Malta they are spread evenly 
over the stone, and are such a decoration as might he used at the 
present day (woodcut No. 181). An altar was found in one of the 
outer chambers at Ilagiar Khem, and in lujth the Maltese monu- 
ments, stone tables from 4 to 5 feet high (one is shown in tho 
woodcut No. 181), the use of which is not clearly made out. They 
are too tall lor altars, and, unless iu tho Balearic Islands, nothing 
like them h known elsewhere. 

After what has been said above, it is hardly worth while to enter 
into the urgunient whether these buildings are temples or tombs. 
Their situation alone, iu this instance, is sufficient to prove that 
thoy do not belong to the former class. Men do not drop three or 
four temples irregularly, as at Gozo, within a stone's throw of one 
another, tin a bare piece of ground, far away from any centres of 
population. The same is the aise at Hagiar Khem, wliere certainly 
three, probably four, sots of chambers exist; and Mnaidra may 
almost bo considered a part of the same group or cemetery. 

Malta, it is sjiid, was colonised by tho Phoenicians, at least was 
BO in Dioilorus' time,^ tliuiigh how much earlier (hey occupied it, 
we are not told, nor to what extent they eupersedetl the originid 
inhabitants. We also learn incidentally tliat thoy possessed 
temples dedicated to Melkurt and Astarto. This is very pro- 
bahlc, and if so, their remains will be tuiind near their liarbours, 
and where they established themselves; and Colonel (Jollinson 
informs me that remains of columnar buildings have been found 
both at Jlarsa Sirocco and near the dockyard creek at Valetta. 
Tliese, most probably, are the remains of the temples io question, 
though possibly rebuilt in Koman times. The little images found 
in the apartments at Hagiar Khem may be reprosentjitions of 
the Ciibeiri, though I doubt it; but little headless deformities, 
20 inches higli, some of stone and some of clay, are not the 
divinities that would be worsliipped in such temples, though they 
might be offerings at a tomb. 

If tliese buildings were tombs, they were the burying-phices of 
a })eople who burnt their dead and carefully preserved their ashes. 

' Proccwlinjr* S<>f. Anl. f^-«l.,' vi„ Sii|ip|i>niniit. 

» Ui«t., V. 12,3, 



and who paid the utmost respect t6 their buried dead long 
their decease. The inner apartments have shelves and cupboards 
in stone, and numerous little arrangements whirli it geemg 
pofisible to understand except on the Bupjx^sition that they 
places for tlie dejwsit of these sacred remains. Some of the 
cesses have doors cut out of a siugle slab 2 and 3 feet square at 
the opening, some are so small that a man could hardly squeeze 
himself through, and some are holes into which only an arm could 
be thmstt' but from the rebate outside of all, the intention seemfl 
to have been for them all to be closed. 

Although from all these arrangements it may broadly be i 
that they are not temples in the ordinary sense of the term ; the outer 
apartments may be considered as halls in which religious ceremonies 
were performed in honour of the dead, and, so far, as places of worsJi^f 
but essentially they were sepulchres, and ttieir uses sepulchral. ^^ 

We know so little of the ancient history of Malta that it i« 
extremely diiticult even to guess who the people were who ereci^| 
and used these sepulchres. Most people would at once answer, the 
PbtKiicians; but, in order to establish their claim, one of two 
things is necessary — either we mnst have some direct testimony 
that they erected these monuments, or wo must be able l^| 
show that they erected similar tombs either near their own 
homes or elsewhere. Neither kind of proof is forthcoming. No 
such tombs are l'oim<l near Tyro or Sidon, or near Carthage, and 
classical authorities are absolutely silent on the subject ^jl 
monumuiita most tike them are tlie tombs tit Mycenas but the diP 
fercnces are so great that I wouhl hesitate to lay much stress on any 
slight similarities that exist. The Greek monuments were always 
intended to bo buried in tumuli. at Malta have so stron^H 
marked and so onianienttil a po'lium outside that it is evident they 
never were so covered up. It may be ililHcult to prove it, but 1 
fancy if we are ever U> find their originals, it is to Africa we must 
look for them. They are too unlike anything else in Europe. ^M 

It seems even more diflieult to dttiiic their age than tu ascertmn 
their origin. Looking at the nature of the stone, their state. 

' One at Miiiiiiirn will to seen nl t, in Koudcut No. 180, and vdto in 
woodrul N<i, IS2, 

Chap. XI. 



preaervatioii, aud other circumstances, I cannot believe they are 
very old. If tliey were in Greece, or in En rope, or anywhere 
where they could be compared with other monuiucnts, some 
useful inferences might be drawn ; but they are go unique that this 
mode ia unavailable. Wo have uothiu}^ we can coutidently com- 
pare them with, and we are so entirely ignorant of the ancient 
history of Malta that wo cannot tell in the least at what age 
she roairhb'd that stage of civiUaition which the workmanship of 
these monuments represents. We are probably safe, however, in 
assuming that they are pre-liomau, and as safe in believing that 
they are not earlier than the niouuraents of Mycenae and Thyriis ; 
in short, that they lielong to some period between tlio Trojan and 
the Punic wars, but uro most probably much nearer to the former 
than to the latter epoch in the world's history. 


It is a curious illustration of the fragmentary nature of society 
iu the ancient world that Sardiniji should possess a class of monu- 
ments aUoliitoly pvcuitiur to itself. It is not this time ten or a 
dozen monuments, like those of Multa, but tliey are numbered by 
thousands, aud so like one auothiT that it is impossible to mistake 
them, and, what is still mure singular, as difficult to tmce any 
progress or change among tliem. The Talyotii of the Balearic 
Islanils may resemble them, but, excepting these, the Nurbags of 
Sardinia stand quite alone. Nothing the least like them is found 
in Italy, or in Sicily, or, indeed, anywhere else, so far as is at 
present known. 

A Nurhag is easily recognized and easily described. It is 
always a round tower, witli sides sloping at an angle of alx)Ut 
10 degrees to the horizon, its dimensions varying from LiO to 
tiO feet in diameter, and its height being generally equal to the 
width of the base. Sometimes they are one, frequently two 
aud even three storeys in height, the centre being always occupied 
by circular chambers, constructed by projecting stones formijig a 
dome with the section of a pointed arch. The chamber generally 
occupies one-third of the diameter, the thickness of the walJa 
Ibrming the remaining two-thirds. There is invariably a ramp or 


staircase leading to tlie platfotiu at the top of the tower. These 

peculiarities will be uuderstootl 
from the annexed section nud 
plan of one from De la Marmora^ 

When the Nurliags are of mo; 
than one storey in lieight, they are 


1M. Nnrbig. Krom W U Mwidoiu, 

nto I 

generally snrronnded by othe^H 

Mliicli aro attached to them \i^> 
platl'uriJis, oiton of coubiderabl^^ 
extent. That at Santa BafB 
bara bas, or had, four email Nur- 
hags ennuseil in the four cxirner 
of the phitrorni, to which acct 
was obtained by a doorway 
the central tower; but frequent! 
there are also sepan^te ramj 
when till' jilutfornis are extensive. 
The masonry of these nionumentB 

ia generally neat, though sometimes the stones are uTihewn, but 

Nttrbii( bT Suila Butian. 

nowliere does there appear any attempt at raegalitbic magnificeiii 

only rfliAblo work on the »nbjocl, nil. ur 
(iiiirly nil, llio iiifiinMntiuti iuUila rliiijth'r 



They arc, at the snxne time, absolutely without any architec- 
tural ornament which t-niiKI give us any hint of their affinities; 
and no inscriptions, no images, no sculptnres uf any kiml, have 
been fonnd in them. 
They are in this re- 
spect 08 nncorarnuni- 
cati ve as onr own rude- 
stone monuments. 

Written history is 
almost equally silent. 
Ouly one passage has __^ 
been disintern^I which 
seems to refer to them. 
It is a Greek work, 
generally known as 
'De Mirabilibiis Aus- 
cultationihns,'* anrl 
ascribed doiihtfully t<5 
Aristotle. It is to the 
following efl'ect: — '"It 
is sjiiil that in the island 
of Sardinia there exist, 
among other beautiful 
and numerous edifices, 
built after the manner 
of the ancient Greeks, 
certain domes (BoXot) of exquisite propirtions. It is further 
stud that they were built by lolas, son of Iphicles, who, having 
taken with him the Thespiadro, went to colonise this island." 
This certainly looks as if the Nnrhags existed when this book 
was written, though the description is by a person who evidently 
never saw them. Diodonis so far confirms this that he says: 
" lolaus, having founded the colony, fetched Dedalus from Sicily, 
and built numerous and grand edifices, wliich subsist to the 
present day, and are called Dcdaleaii, from tlie name of their 
buililer;"- and in another paragraph ho re<:uris to the veneration 

^ ol San la Barlur4. From l>e U Mwmoni. 

' liekkcr, iii. p. GM, pant. 100. 

» Dindoras, it. Sir; x. l.V 



Cdap. XI. 

" in whioh tlie name of lolaus is held." Tbis, too, is nnsHtisfactory,, 
as written by a person who never visited the island, and had not J 
seen the monuments of which he was speaking. 

It 18 little to be woadered at if buildings so mysterious and 
unlike any known to exist elsewhere should have given rise 
speculations (ilinnst as wild iis those that hang around our own 
rude-stoue monuments. The various theories which have been 
advanced are enumerated and deseribed by De la 3Iarmora' so 
fully that it will not be necessary to recajtitulate them here, nor 
to notice any but three, which seem really to have some plausible 

The first of these assumes the Nurhags to liave been watcb 
towers or fortificntious. 

The Becoiid, that they were teraplea. 

The third, thut they wen? tombs. 

Looking at the positions in which they are found, the first of 

these theories is not 




ilovoid of foundation 
might at first sight a|j- _ 
pear. As a rule, thej 
are all place<l on heigh t^^ 
and at such distances as| 
to be seen from one an- 
other, and consequently 
be able to communicate ^1 
by signal at lejtst. Tako ^^ 
such an example, for in- 
stance, as that of Giara«|^| 
near Isili (woodcut No. 
1S8). -Vny engineer J 
officer would be delighted with the manner in which the |>ositioa^| 
is taken up. Every point of vantage in the circumference is 
occupied, and two points in the interior fortilied, so as to net as 
8ujt[H;rts. The designer of the eutrenclieJ camp at Linz might 
rub hia eyes in ustonishmciit to find his inventions forestalled b; 


188. Map of I.* OUra. From De la Mannora. 

Chap. XI. 



threo thousand ypars, nnd by towers externally so like his own as 
hardly to be distingutsliable to an unpractised eye. The form 
of the towers themselves lends considerable plausibility to the 
defensive theory. Such a Nurhag:, for instance, us that of Santa 
Barbara (wo(xlcuts Nos. 18(5, 187), surrounded by four lesser ones, 
eounocte<l by ii platform, and dominated by the central tower, is a 
means of defence we might now adopt, provided we may assume the 
existence of a piiraitt^t, whifh has fallen through a^je. 

Wlien we come to look a little more closely at this military 
question, we perceive that we are attempting to apply to a people 
who certainly had no projectiles that would carry farther than 
arrows, prineijiles adapted to artillery or musketry fire. The 
Nurhags are placed at such distances as ttt aflord no snp|x>rt to one 
another before the invention of gunpowder, and though in them- 
selves not indefensible, they possess the ludical delect of liaving 
no accommodation for their garrisons, It is impossible that men 
could live, cook, and sleep in the little circular apartments in 
their interior, and the platforms added very little to their accom* 
modation. Had the four detached Nurhaf^.s at Santa Barbara been 
connected with walls only, so as to surround the central tower «ith 
a court, the case would have been very difl'ereiit; but as in all 
instances this is tilled up, so as to form a platform, it is evident 
that it was exposure, not shelter, that was sought in their con- 

Anc»ther, and even stronger, argument is derived from their 
number. l)e la llarmora asserts that the remains of at least three 
thousand Nurhags can now be traced in Sardinia,' and there seems 
no reason to doubt the truth of his calculation, nor his assertion that 
they were once much more numeroos, and that they are dispersed 
pretty evenly over the whole island. Can any one fancy a state of 
society in such an island which would require that there should be 
three thousand castles and yet no fortilied cities as places of refuge ? 
They were not erected to protect the island against a foreign 

' The SMxjtcli liTOchs, wlik'h are in 
their construction the erections inont liku 
thirso, hoTo nil courtyards in their centre, 
in which all the doinestio nperations of 
the garriioM could be carried on con- 

veniently, and Uiey only needed to 
creep into tho chainljerit in the wall 

to slot!]). 

* 'Voyngo en Sordaigne,' pp. 4C and 



Chap. XI. 

enoniy, because most of them nre inlaDd. They could not be 
made to serve for tl)e protection of the rich during insurrections 
or civil wars, nor to enable robbers to plunder in security the 
peaceful iulmbitunts of the plain. In short, unless the ancient 
Sardiiiitins lived in a state of society of wliich we have no know- 
ledge elsewhere, these Nurhags were certainly not military works. 

When wo turn to the second hypothesis and try to consider 
them as temples, we are met by very much the same difficulties 
as beset tlie fortification theory. If temples, they are unlike the 
temples of any other people. Grencmlly it is assumed that they 
were fire tcmplfs, from their name Nur — in the Semitic languages^ 
signifying fire — but more frum their construction. The little 
circular chambers in their interiors are admirably suited for pre- 
serving the sacred tire, and tho extenial platforms as well adapted 
for tliiit Siihean woi-ship of the planets which is generally under- 
8too<I to bo a38ociuto<l with tire-worship. But assuming this to 
1)0 the case, why so numerous? We can count on our fingers all 
the fire-temples that exist, or were ever known to exist, in fire- 
worshipping Persia; and if a dozen satisfied her spiritual wants, 
what necessity was there for three thousand, or probably twice 
that number, in the small and sparsely inliabitcd island of Sar- 
dinia? Had every family, or little village community its own 
separate tern pie on the nearest high [)lace? and did each perform 
its own wnrshii* separately from the rest? So far as we know, 
there is no subordination among them, nothing corresponding to 
cathedrals, or parish churches or cbajiels. Some are smaller, or 
some form more extensive groups than others, but a singularly . 
republican equality reigns thronghoutj very unlike the hierarchical 
feeling we find in most religions. In one other respect, too, they are 
unlike the temples of other nations. None of them aro situated in 
towns or villages, or near the centres of population in the island. 

Must we then adopt the third hyp:)the»is, that they \.ere tombe? 
Here again the same difficulties mnet us. If they were tombs, they 
are unlike thnse of any other people with whom we are acquainted. 
Their numbers in this instance is, however, no difficulty. It is in 
the nature of the case that sepulchres should accumulate, and 
their number is consequently one of the stroogcsi arguments in 
favour of thin destination. Nor does their situation militato 



against tliis view. Nothing is mon? likely tlmu that a people 
should like to bury their dead, on high places, where their tombs can 
be seen from afar. In fact, there does not seem much to be said 
against this theory, except that no sepulchral remains hare been 
found in them. It is trne that Do la Marmora found a skeleton 
buried in one at Iselle,' and apparently so placed that the interment 
must have taken place before the tower was built, or at all events 
finished; but the prcfionce of only one corpse in two thousand 
MUiLags tells strongly against the theory, as where one was placed 
more would have been found had this form of interment been usual, 
and amidst the hundreds of ruined and hnlf-ruined nurlmgs some 
evidence must have been found had any of the usual sepulcliral 
I" sages prevailed. To my mind the conclusion seems inevitable 
tliat, if they were tombs, they were those of a people who, like the 
Parsees of the present day, exposed their dead to 1h? devoured by 
the birds of the air. If there is one feature in the nurhags more 
consistent or more essential than another, it is that of the stairs or 
ramps that give access to their platforms. It shows, without doubt, 
that, whether for defence, or worship, or burial, the platform was the 
feature for which the edih'ce was erected, and there it must have 
been that its purposes were fulfilled. But is it possible that such 
a practice ever prevailed in Sardinia ? It is, of course, precipitate 
to answer that it did. But the custom is old. .\nything so excep- 
tional among modem usages is not the invention of yesterday, and 
it may have been far more prevalent than it row is, and it may in 
very ancient times have been brought by some Eastern colonists 
to this "Western isle. I dare hardly suggest that it was soj but this 
is certain, thatsucJi towers would answer in every respect perfectly 
to the " Towers of Silence " of the modem Persians, and the little 
side chambers in tho towers would suit jx^rfectly as receptacles of 
the denuded bones when the time arrived for collecting them. 

One argument against their being sepulchres iias been drawn 
from tlie fact that frequently a diflerent class of graves, called 
giants' tombs, is found in their immediate proximity. The con- 
clusion I would draw from this is in a contrary sense. These 
giants' tombs are generally long graves of neatly fitted stones, 

' Vnynge,' p. 152. 

2 F 



CHAf. XI. 

with a tall frontispiece, which is formed of ono Rtonn, always 
c-arefiilly lievm and sometimes carveiL On each sido of the 
entrance two arms extend so m to form a semicircle in front, and 
when the circle is comploted l>y detached menhirs, these are 
generally shapt'd into cones and car\'ed. The whole, in fact, has 
a more advanced and more modern appearance than the niirhags, 
and, as I read the riddle, the inhabitants adopted this form, and 
that found in the nurbig at l8>^lle, after they had ceased Ui use the 
nnrhag itself as a means of disposing of their dead, bnt were still 
dinning to the spots made sacred hy the ashes of their forefathers. 
That the nnrhafrs are old scarcely seems to admit of a doubt., 
thf)iigh I Ivnow of only one material point of evidence on the 
snliject. It is that the pier of a Roman aqueduct has been founded 
on the stump of a ruined ami cnnseqnently desecrated niirhag.* 
Some time Tnn'^t have dnp^cd before the primitive and sacred uspt 
of the nnrhag had been so completely forgotten that it should 
be so used, Bnt the passages above qnoted from the ' Jfirabilibua ' 
and Diodoriis show that in the first and fifth centuries ixc. 
nothing wns known of tlieir origin by these authors, and no other 
has ventured to hint at their age. In classical times they seem to, 
have been as mysterious as they are now ; — 

" Tn the glimmer of t5ie (Inwn 
They stJinil tlio solemn silent witneasps 
Of ancient dnya, — nlLara — or graves." 

Balearic Islands. 

The third gronp of monuments indicated above are the Talyots 
of Minorca and Majorca, Unfortunately our guide, De la Marnioni, 
deserts us liere. He went to explore them, but ill health and 
other adverse circumstances prevented his carrying his intent 
fully into effect, and we are left con.sequently ver}' much to the 
work of Don Juan Ramis,^ which is the reverse of satisfactory. 

Externally they generally resemble the nurhags in appearance, 
and apparently have always chambere in their interior, but De la 

' De In Marmora, pi. v. p. 110. 

* ' Anli|^c«1«]«8 CelHois He In I»ilft Jp Menorea. Ae. ;' Halion, 1818.. 

Chap. XI. 

haleahtc islands.— talyots. 


Marraom was unftlde to dctprinitie wht'tlior any of tliem had the 
internal staircase' Icadinn; to tlie siininiif wliicli is the invariable and 
essential characteristic of the nurhag. If they had not this, they must 



IMI. Talytit Bl 'ln'pm;<'. MliKMm. From |ir U Muminm. 

be considei-ed as more neai'ly approaching to our chambered cairns 
than to nurhaga ; and till this [loint is settled, and we know more 
about them, we must refrain 
from speculations on the 
subject. One characteristic 
feature they have, however, 
which it is useful to note. ^ 

It is a bilitlion^ if such a ^99, 
term is admissible — an up- 
right flat stone, with one 
across it foriniiifi; a sort of 
table. In appearance it very 
much resembles those stone 
tables which are found in- 

Bido the chambers of the Maltese sepulchres, but the*ie are always 
larger, and placed, so far as is known, externally. What their 
use may have bc<m, it is difficult to conjecture, but they were 
evidently constdert'd important here, as in woodcut No. UK) one 

lu^vi.i at Al^ur, Mliiuru 
Kmm l>f U M*rmur», 

Voyngu,' jip. M7 <t leqq. 

'1 1 ^ 




is shown siin'oinided by ft sacrtil enclosure, as if bein;,' itself the 
" Numen " tu be honniip^d. At Malta, as before reiuarketl, they 
e»?rtuinly wore Mot altors, becauae podesUiIs, which were unmis- 
takiibly altars, iiro fnund in the saiue apnrtmonts. and they are 
very unlike them. Tiiey seem more like the great saucers in 
the Irish tombs, and may have served the same purposes; Iratj 
altogether these Balearic outside tables are unlike anything 
know of elsewhere. 

Kude-stone circles seem tol»e not uncommon in ccmibiniition ' 
the talyots and tall altars, and on the whole they seem to bear as 
much affinity to the monuments of Spain as to those of Sardinia, 
but again till wo know more it is idle to speculate on either tlieir 
age or uses beymid the conclusion drawn frinu all similar monu- 
ments — that their destination was to honour departed greatness. 

It would be not only interesting but instructive to pursue 
subject further, for the monuments of these islands deserve 
more complete investigation than they have yet received; 
this is not the place to pursue it. Indeed, it is only indirectT 
that they have any connection witli the subject of this work. 
They are not niegalithic in the sense in which the word is. 
generally used. Nor are they rude, for all the stones are m^M 
or less shaped by art, and all are used constructively. In none' 
of them is the stone itself the object and end of the erectic 
In uli it is only a means to an end. 

It is their locality and their age that import them into 
Brg«iment if there is anything in the connection between 
monuments of Franco and Algeria, us attempted to be shown 
above. Whether the African ones came from Europe, or vice versA, 
it must have been in consequence of long-continued intercourse 
between the two countries, and of an influence <if the dolmen 
builders in the Western Mediteminean vshtch could hardly have 
failed to leave traces in the intermediate islands, imless they had 
been previously civilized and had fixed and long-established mo^| 
of dealing with their own dead. ^^ 

Assuming that the nurhags and giants' towers extend back to tj 
mythic times of Grecian history, say the war of Troy — and 
of them can hardly be more modern — it will hardly be contend 

Chap. XI. 



now that flie dolmens are earlier. If they were so, it must 
be by centuries or by thousands of years, if we are to assume that 
the one had any influence on the other, for it must have taken 
long before a truly rude-stone monument cinild liave prown hitn 
a eonstruptive style like that of Sardinia or Malta ; and I do not 
think, after what has been said above, any one would now con- 
tend for so remote an antiquity. If neither anterior nor coeval, 
the conclnston, if we admit any influence at all, seems iiievitablp 
that the dolnuins must be eubscquent. But this is just the point 
at issue. The nurhags did not grow out of dolmens, nor dolmens 
out of nurhairs. Tliey nr<' separate and distinct creations, so far 
as we know, belonging to different races, and practically unin- 
fluenced by one anotlier. Here, as elsewhere, each group must be 
judged by itself, and stand on its own merits. If any direct 
influence <'au be shown to exist between auy two groups, there is 
generally very little dilliculty in amingiiig them in a scqnouce and 
seeing wliich is the oldest, but till such connection is established, 
all such attempts are futile. 

In so far as any argument can now be got out of those insular 
monuments, it seems to take this fornt. If the dolnn'U people 
were earlier than the nurhag-builders, they certainly would have 
occupied the islands that lay in their path between France or 
Spain and Africu, and we slnnild iiud traces of them there. If, 
on the contrary, the uurhag-buihli-rs were the earlier race, and 
colonised these islands so conipletcdy as to fill them before the 
age of the dolmen-builders, the latter, in passing fi-om north to 
south, or vice versa, could only have touched at the islands as 
emigrants or traders, and not as colonists, and consequently could 
have neither altered nor influenced to any great extent the more 
practically civihzcd people who had already occupied them. 

So far as we can see, this is the view that most nearly meets the 
facts of the case at present known, an<l in this respect their 
negative evidence is botli interesting and instructive, though, 
except when viewed in this light, the monuments of the Mediter- 
ranean islands have no real place in a work treating on rude- 
stone uioniimeuts. 







Palestine is one of tliose couutriea in which dolmens exist, ncrtr 
thousands and tens of tlionsunds, tis in Algeria, hut certainly iq 
hundreds — [K'rhaps tens uf hundreds; but travellers have not 
coudeseended to open their oyes to observe them, and the Pale 
Kx|i]urutiun Fund is too busy inuking maps to pay uttention 
subject which woiikl probably tlirovv as much li^ht on the otl 
graphy of the Uoly Laud as anything we know of. Before, he 
ever, retailing what little we know about tho monuments acti 
uxistiug, it is uofessary in this instunt'o to say a faw words al 
tliost- whidi wu know of only by hearsay. All writers on megalitliio 
remains in tht; last century, and sumo of those of the present* have 
made so ruucli of the stones set up by Abraham and Joshua ibol 
it is indispen?«able to try to ascertain what they were, and what 
bearing they really have on the subject of which we are treatiam 
The earliest mention of a stono being srt up Huy where us a mu^^ 
uiL'iit or memorial is that of the one which Jacob used a^ a pillow 
in the night when ho had that dream which became the title of 
tlio Israelites to the land uf Canaan. '* And Jacob rose up early 
in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, 
and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it." * The 
question is, What was the size of this stone? In the East, where 
hard pillows are not objected to, natives generally use a brick for 
this pui-pose. Eurojieaus, who are more stiffuecked as well as more 
luxurious, insist on two brieke, and these laid one on the other, 
with a cloth thrown over them, form by no moans an uncomfortable 
headpiece. The fact of Jacob being alone, and moving the stono to 
and from the place where it was used, proves tbat it was not larger 

UenvHia xxviii. 18; xxxv. 14. 

Chai'. XII. 



timn, jirobalily not so large as, tlie liead that was laid tipou it. It 
certainly, there lore, was neitlier tlio Lia Fail which still adorus the 
hill of Tara uor even the Seouo atono that iornia the king's seat in 
Westminster Abbey, aud, what is more to our |)resent fiurix)se, it 
inay safely be diseharyed t'loiu the cutegoiy of ineyalithic mouii- 
ineiitH of which we are now treating. 

The next ease in whit-li stones are mentioned is in Genesis xxxi. 
45 and 4(3: "And Jacob took a Htone, and set it iiji for a pillar. 
And Jueob said unto his hretkreu, Gather stones; and they took 
stones, and made sin lu-ap : and they did eat there upon the heaji." 
Tina is not quit"^ ko elt-ur; but the fair inference seems to be that 
what they erected was a stone ultnr, on which they jmrtook of an 
oflei-iiift which, under the cireiinitjlances, tixjk the form of a sacra- 
ineutal oath — one party standinp; on either side of it. The altar 
in the temple of Jertjstdem, we know, down even to the time of 
llerod, was formed of stones^ Avhich no iron tool had ever touched,' 
and the tmdition derived from this altiir of Jacob seems to have 
lasted durinjr the whole Jewish {Hjriofl. So there is nothing^ in this 
instance to lejjd us to suppose thai " the heap" htul any connection 
with the lufgiditliit' monuments of other countries. 

The third instauoe, though more frequently quoted, seeras even 
lefi8 relevant. When Joshua parsed the Jordan, twelve men, 
according t4.i the nnnd>er of the tribes, were appointed, each "to 
take up a stone on his sliuuhlrr out of the Jordan, in the j)lacc 
wliere the priests' feit had stood, and to carry them^nd set them 
down at the place where they hxlged that night, as a meuutrial to 
the childrt-a of Ismel for ever."^ Here, again, stones that men can 
carry on their shoulders are not muuh bigger than their heads, and 
are not such as in aity ordinary sense would be used us memorials, 
inasmuch as they could be as ea.sily removed by any one, as placed 
where they were. "If ranged on an altar, in a buihling, this pur- 
j)ose would have been answered ; but as an o[ien-air testimonial 
8uch stones seem singularly inappropriate. 

The only instance in which it seems tliat the Bible is 8|)eaking 
of the same class of moiiumeuts as iho^e we are concerned with 

' Jiimiphiiii, ' Ucll. Jiid.' V. (J. I miHtmtuilutioii (if tlic- vorw ib «ii inlnr- 

' JcioliUtt iv. 'i to S. 'Ihvtc ia «niuo |K>lnlii>ii. It is to Im< Iic>|kmI tlutt Utv 
misttikv ill lliL' Ml vursc ; ciUicr it u a { UuVisuia u ill iix>k l)> it. 



CUAf. Xtl. 

is iu the lust uhapter of Joshua, where it is said (yerae 26), he 
•' took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by 
the sanctuary of the Lord," and said, " Behold, this stone shall be 
a witness iinto us." It is the more probable that this was really a 
great monolith, as it seerns to be the stone mentioDed in Judges 
Lx. () as " the pillar of the plain," ... or "by the oak of the 
pillar which was iu Sheehem;" and if this is so, it must have 
been of considerable dimensions. It tlierefore alone, of all the 
stones mentioned iu the Bible, seems to belong to the class of 
stones we are treating of; but even then its direct bearing on 
the subject is not clear. It by no means follows that because the 
Israelites in Joshua's time set up such a stone for such a purjxwe 
that either then or ti thousand years afterwards the French or 
Scandinavians did tlic same thing with the same intention. It 
may be so, but both tlie time and locality seem too remote for 
ua to rely on any supposed analogy. 

As bearing indirectly on this subject, it is curious to observe 
that the rite of circunicisiun in these early days of Jewish history 
was performed with dint liiiives/ which, considering that bronze 
and iron were both familiarly known to the Israelites at that period, 
is & remarkable example of the persistence iu an old fasluon long 
after it might have been .supposed it \\on\d have become obsolete. 
It is equally curious, if the 8eptiiagint is to be dejjended upon, that 
they should have buried with Joshua in his grave those very tliiit 
implements {ra.'i fia-)(^aipa<i rat TrerptVa?) with which the o[)eratiou 
was performed. This cannot of course In." quoted an the latest or 
even a late exiuaple of Hint being burieil in tombs, but it is inte- 
resting as explaining one reason for the practice. It is at lca»«t one 
instance in which tlijit was used long after metul was known, and 
one tomb in which stone implements were buried for other reasons 
than the people's ignorance of the use of metul"' If the Jews used 
flints for that puriHtse in Joshua's time, and so disposed of them after 
the death of their chief, the only wonder is tliat they do not do so 
at tJie present day. 

' Exodtu if. 25 ; Joshua v. S> 

* Herodotiu (ii. SO) mciitiuns that, iu 

hid flny, the Egyptiuns, after extracting 

the brain with vu itnn instrument, cut 

epeo the body they intended to eubolm 

with un Ethiopio atone, und Sir (inrdser 
Wilkiniion (* Aucieut Egy|ititiUi$,' iii. 'M'J) 
fotttid two tlint knive« in a tomb which 
might have twen uwd for euch » pur- 

Chap. XII. 



To turn from tliese s{>eeulatious, based ou words, to tlie real facts 
of the ease. We find that tlie first persous who observeii dolmens 
in Syria were Captains Irby and Mangles. In their hurried joamey 
from Es Salt, in 1817, to the fords of tlie Jordan, apparently in a 
straight line from Es Salt to Nablous, they observe<i a group of 
twentv'-aeven dolmens, very irreg:ularly situated at the foot of the 
mountain. All those they observed were composed of two side- 
stoues, from 8 to 10 feet long, supporting a cap-st<»ne projecting 
considerably beyond the sides and ends. The chambers, however, 
were only 5 feet long internally — too short, consequently, for a 
body to be stretched out at full length. The contraction arose 
from the two transverse stones being placed considerably within 
the ends of the side-stones. One of these appeiu-s to have l>een 





KL. Iioliui'nn »t Kafr rr Wil. Fran « sketch by Un. Kntwnnn BUtiip. 

solid, the other to have lieen pierced with what is called a door; 
but whether this was a hole in one stone, or a door formed by two 
jambs, is not detir,' No drawing or plan acrt mi panics tlieir 
description ; but the arrangement will be easily understiHKl when 
we come to examine those of Htiju ukoloor, in India,' described 
farther on (woodcut No. 20(1). 

The only other reliable iiiiornintiou 1 luivc is extracted for mo 
from his note-books by my friend, Mr. D. 11. Blaine. In travelling 
from Ora Keis — Gadara — towards Gerash, at a place called Kafr er 
"W'al, not far from Tibne, they met with one considerable group, a 
portion of which is represented in the alcove wotnlcut (N"o. 11)1). 
Tlie size of the stones varies considerably ; generally, however, they 
are about 12 feet by 6 feet, and from 1 to 2 I'eet in tliickness. One 

' Irby iind Munglm, ' Travels in Egypt, Nubin, Ac' 1823, p. 323. 
' Colonel McaJnwB Taylor, in 'Tr»M. Royal Irish .^rudomy,' I86S. 



Chap. XII. 

cap-etoue was nearly 12 feet square, ami the bide-fltoues vary from 
5 to ti feet in height. On aii[>rc«u.'hing Suf, a great nuiubep of 
dolmens were observed ou either side of the road for a distance 
of from three to lour miles. »Some of these seemed quite perfect, 
others were broken dowu ; but the travellers had uulbrtuuately 
uo time to couut or examine them with care. 

This is a very meagre account of a great subject — so meagre, 
indeed, that it is impossible to found any argument it[K)ii it that 
will be wurth anything ; but it is interesting to observe tliut all the 
dolmens as yet noticed in Syria are situated in Gilead, the country 
of the Amiiiites, and of Og, king of Busbau. If it should prove 
eventually tiiat there are none excei>t in this district, it would 
give rise to several interesting etlmogra}ihieal determinations. At 
present all we can feel eonfideut al>out is tliat there are no dolmens 
west of the Jonian ; but the Aniuritt^s wore oiigiurtlly settled in 
Hebron,' and there are certainly uo duliiieus there. JSo uiilesa they 
uiigxated eastward before the dolmeu jienod, they can scarcely lay 
claim to thi'in. Then these dolmens may belong to the Hephaiiu, 
the Eiuiiu, the Anakim, the Zuzim, and all those giant tribes that 
dwelt LeyuudJoiduii at the time ot'Chedorluomer, the dreaded king 
of Elatii, who smote the kings of this district at the dawn of the 
Uible history of these regions.* The sptctiJation is a tempting one, 
and if it should eventually \iv proved tliut they are confined to this 
one district, it will no doubt iind favour in some quartere. Tliei'c 
seems, however, nothing to sup])ort it beyttnd the fact that the 
people in the region beyond the Jordan seem uU uud always to have 
licen of Hamite or Turanian bluod, and therefore likely to adopt 
tins mode (jf burial wla-uever it may have been introduced, iu 
spite of tlie colonization of two tribes and u half of Israelites, who 
could do but little to leaven the mass. 1 am afraid that, like the 
theory whieh ideritilied the Ifoman cities of the llauran with 
the giant cities of (Jg, king of ISashiiu, and bis tall cont'Cuiiionuies, 
this hypothesis will not bear examination. Every stone of these 
cities, it is now known, was placed where we now tiud it, after the 
time when Pouipey extended Koman iiidueuce to these regions; 
and nothing Avouid surprise me less than to hnd tliat these dolmens 

* Ui-ucikis, x'ui. IS; xiv. 13. 

' lieu. xiii. &. 




are even more modern. Before, however, we venture to speciiluie 
ou Buch u subject, we must feel surer lliau we now do of tlieir extent 
and their diatribuliou, and know something of their contents. Ou 
both these sulijectawe ure at present pruftically entirely i^rnomut. 

Gileud is iilumst tliu Idst uafe re8ting-pluce at which we c^jiu 
pause in om* explonitions eastward in our attempts to connect tiie 
Eastern and the Western duhueu regions together. But Gilead 
Vi two thousjtud luili-s from l*eshawur, where we meet the tirst 
example of the Indian dolmens; and in the vast regions that lie 
between, only one or two doubtful examples are kno^^n to exist. 
We can creep uu doubtlully a coujile of ]iun<lred miles nearer, 
in Arabia and L'ircussia ; but that hardly helps us much, and 
unless some discoveries are n)ade in the intermediate countries, 
the migration theory will become wholly untenable. 

In the course of the recent ordnance suivey of the peninsula of 
8Luai in 155(38-9, great numbers of circular buildings were discovered, 
many of which were certainly tombs; and plans and drawings of 
some of them have been engraved, and will be published by the 
authorities at 8outiiampton. But as great Injilics move slowly, it 
may yet be a long time before they are accessible to the public 
Meanwhile the i'oUowing particulars, gleaned fronj a i>aper by the 
Bev. Ulr, Holhind/ will suHice to exphUn what they ai-e. The 
buildings are of two classes: tlie tirst, which were probably stoie- 
houses, were built in the shape of a dome, aljout 5 feet high and 
5 or 6 feet in diameter in the interior. The widln were often as 
much as 4 feet thick, and a large flat stone formed tljo highest 
portion of the roof, which upjieared to have been covered with 
loose shingle. They had no windows, and one door, about 3 feet 
high and 1^ foot broad. The stones used in their construction 
were often large, but never dressed, and no mortar was used. 

The other kind of ruins, which is generally found in close 
proximity to the former, often in separata groups, consists of 
massively built circles of stones, of about 14 to 15 feet in 
diameter, and 3 feet high, but without any roof. " These," Mr. 
Holland savs, " were evidentlv tombs ; for I found human bonus 

Jouriutl Uoyul Guugni|ilucaJ ^<<xtil•(y,° 1868, |<ii. 243 ct tuq. 



CuAi: XII. 

ill all that I opened," whicli were never met with iu the i>uiIiiJDg8 
of the first class ; " and in one two skeletons lying aide by side, one of 
them on a bed of flat stones. Tlio rings of stones were appan^ntly 
first half filled with earth ; the Iwdies were then laid in them, and 
tliey were then <juite filled up with earth, and heavy stones placed 
on the top to prevent the wild beasts disturbing the bodies. Some 
of these rings are of much larger size: some 45, others 90, feet in 
diiiuifter, and some cuntainiid a smaller ring in the centre. Near 
the mouud of Nukb liuwy is one no less than 375 feet in dia- 
meter." From the above description it is evident that, exc-ept 
from the dimensions of the last-mentioned, these circlus have 
nan-h more aflinity with the Chonchas and Dazinas of Algeria 
than with anything farther north or west, and there is probably 
some connection between them, lint a wall of coursed masonry 
of small Btoiiea cim hardly be compared with our megalithic 
structures, and, so fur as is known, no dolmens, nor any examples 
of the great rude-stone monuments we are discussing, have been 
found in the peninsula. Whun the results of the survey are pub- 
lished, we may see reusou to alter this opinion ; but at present thcjie 
i*^inuitic tombs st.'eni to belong to a cla-ss altogether dilTerent from 
the European exaraiilos, except in two ])oints — that they are circular 
and sepulchral. Tljese elmraeteristics are, however, so importaut 
that eventually otiier points of comparison may be established. 

The rij«le-stoue UKiunmcuts which Mr. <iitiiird Palgrave acci- 
dentally stumbled iiimii in the centre of Arabia are of a very 
diftVrent class from these. According to his account, what he saw 
was apparently one-!ialf of what had ouot^ Ijeen a complete circle 
of trilithons; but Mhether continuous, like the outer circle of 
IStonehenge, or in pairs, like the inner circle there, is not quito 
clear. As he could just touch the impost with his whip when 
on his camel, the iieight was, as he says, about 15 feet — the same 
AH Stoneheuge; and the expression lie uses would lead us to suppose 
that the whole structure was essentially similar. Allowance, how- 
ever, must be nmde for his being in disguise, which prevented his 
making notes or writing down his observations; and writing after- 
wards from memory, his description may not be minutely correct. 
He is, however, 80 clear and acute an observer that he could 
hanlly be deceiving himself; and wc may take it for granted thttt 

Chap. XII. 



oxnctly halfivay lM?twseTi tlie Persinn Gulf Jiml tlie Red Sen, near 
Eyooii, ill ltttituik> 2C>^ 20', tlicre exist throe nule-stone mnnumenta 
— lie saw only one, but Ueard of two others — of a class siinilHt- to 
those fouiid in England atiil in the continent of Europe/ and vvhut 
18 more important to onr present pnrpose, Bimiliir to those found in 
TrifKjli, and illustrated above in woodcnts 175 and 176. 

De Vogue's pintes of late Romfin tombs in the Haiiran, especi- 
ally thnse represicnted in his plates J*'i iin<l f>t,^ take away all im- 
probability from the iilua that trilithons should have been erected 
for aepulohral purposes in this part of the world. That the one 
form 18 copie<l from tlie other raay be aasnimed as pertain ; but 
whether the rude stones are anterior to or contemporary with or 
subsequent to those of the Roman order, every one must decide 
for himself. I believe them to be either coeval or more modem, 
but there is nothing in these partieular monuments to guide us to 
a derision either way. If we could fanoy that the .^vages who 
now occupy that country would ever allow it ti» be explored, it 
would he extremely interesting to know more of the Arabian 
examples, even if they should only prove to be an extension of 
Syrian or North African forms iut(j Central Arabia. If, on the 
other hand, a migration theory is ever to be established, tliia 
probably would be the southern route, or at least one of the 
.southern routes ; though the imagination staggers when we come 
to consider how long it must have been ago since any wandering 
tribes piussed througli Central Arabia on their way westward. 

Are there any dolmens in Asia Minor? It is no answer to this 
question to say that none have been seen by any of the numerous 
travellers who have traversed that country. Ten years ago, by a 
parity of reasoning, their existence in Algeria or in Syria might 
have been denied. My impression is that they will not be found 
in that region. 1 expect that Asia Minor was too completely 

' 8. Pulgrave, 'Central and Enatprn 
Anibia,' i. p. 251. These appenr to 
bo the nme ni those mentioned by 
Bonitctteu. "Derniiremont enenre an 
miraioiiaire jVauite, lo P^re Kohr-ii, a 
decouvert »?n Ambio dona le dUtrict de 
Kn«m, prte de Khabb, tioia TutcB cerclea 

de pierre* poreils ^ oelui do Stonebenge, 
et composes obacun de groupon de tri- 
litbes d'une graode elevation."'— fiwni 
mtr let Dolmeiu, p. 27. 

' One of Uiem hfta nl ready fae«n given, 
woodrut No. 25, p. 100. 



riiAP. XII. 

civilized in ii pre-il<jlmen peritxl to havo adopted this form aft«*r- 
wards; but it ia dangoroua io speculate about a country of whose 
early history, as well as of whoge modem geography, we peallj 
know flo little. 

It would be extremely interesting, however, if some traveller 
would open his eyea, and tell iia what really is to be found there, 
aa it would throw considerable lif^ht on some interesting problems 
rnuiR'cted with this subject. It would, for instance, bo interesting 
to know whether there are or are not dolmens in Galatia. If 
there are, it would go far to asf^ist the Celtic claim to their 
invention. If they do not exist, either the Celts must l>e asked 
to waive their c^laim or we must fitid out some other mode of 
accounting for tlieir absence. 

In like manner, it would be interesting to know if there are 
dolmens in Lydio. As mentioned before, there are numberless 
chauiliered tumuli in that country, and it would be curious to 
trace the exifit(>n<'e or absi^nce of any connection between these 
two forms of sepulchres. My impression is tliat the case of Lydia 
is very similar to that of Etrurin, It was civilized before the 
dolmen eni, and it will consequently be in vain to look there for 
any megalitliic remains. The chambers in all the tombs yet 
opened are, so far aa we at present know, constructed of small 
atones, and show no reminiscence of a rude-stone stage of art.' 

When we cross the Black Sea to Kertch, we find & state of 
aflaire very similar to that in Lydia — great mimbei-s of cham- 
bered tumuli, but all of microlithic or masonic forms. The torohg 
seem to be the lineal descend ants of those at Mycena?, and to 
belong to a totally dilTereut class frftm those we are treating of, 
and, notwithstanding their similarity of purpose, have appjirently 
sprung from a different source. Yet it is curious to observe that 
eveu here the inevitable flints reii|ippar. In one tomb, known as 
Kouloba, or Hill of Cinders, were found the remains of a chiefs 
with his wife, their servants, and a horse. He wore a cap orna- 
mented with gold, a gold enamelled necklace, and gold bracelets, 
and his sword was of iron. An electrum plate, which had formed 
part of a quiver, was ornamented with figures of animals and 

' 4h^, p. .12. 

Chap. XII. 



f ^ 




inscribed with the Greek word lUpvaxo. Tlie queen's ornanienta 
were richer in metal and more eliibnrate in workinansliip than her 
husband's, yet among all this magnificence were found a qnnntity 
of flakes and other implements of flint:' a tolerably cnuviiicing 
proof that flint implements were not btiried in this tomb, any 
more than in Joshua's, because men did not know the use of 
metals, but for some symbolical reason ive do not now understand. 
There is little doubt that other examples as striking as these will 
be found when looked for, 
and, at all events, these do 
away with all a jyriori argu- 
ments based on the prolia- 
bility or otherwise of their /.'Nfl r (^ 

being modern. 

Combined with these are 
found, very sparsely on the 
shore of the Crimea, but 
frequently on the eastern 
shore of the Ijaltie and in Ciroassia, the forms of dolmens we are 
familiar with in other parts of the world. Nothing like a regular 
survey of them has yet been attempted, nor have we any detailed 
accounts of them; 
but from such in- 
formation as is 
published,'^ the 
general type : 
seems to be that 
of the holed dol- — "^ ~" ' ' —-' '*^-"' .: 

men Rlieh nit '"■'' ^"^ I>olmi"n, QrouKlit. Knmi ■ limwlnit by Siuii^in. 1 

those represent^ in the annexed woodcuts. 

As far as can bo judged from such ilbistmtions as have l>een 
published, all the Caucasian or Circassian dolmens are composed 
of stones more or less hewn and shaped and carefully fitted 
together, giving them a more modern appearance than their 

IW. Holed Pnlmrn. Fmin IXiNilj de M»nlp«t'iix. 


Dnboia do Montpereux, v. pp. 194 i antour du Cunranc,' i. p. 43. See aim 

el *rqi}, pig. IX. to ixv. See also ♦,Ioar- 
iial Aroh, Ash.' siiL pp. 303 e( leqq 

' Dubois da Montpereiix, ' Voyage f pi. Ix. 

two dolmcTM from clmwings by W. Simp- 
srin, in Wuring's 'Stcmo Monumeuts,' 



fHAr. XIT. 

Western confieners. That, however, may be owing to other cir- 
riimstauces than age, and cannot be used as au argument either 
way till we know more about them. It would be extremely 
interesting if some one would make a special study of this group, 
as Circttssia lies exactly halfway between India and Scandinavia, 
and if we adopt a migration theory, this is exactly the central 
resting-place where we wonld expect to find traces of the passage 
of the diilnieii-lniilders. Tlieir route probably would he through 
Jiactrirt, down (hi; Oxus to the Caspian, across C'ircassia, and 
ronnd the head of the Sea of Azof to the Dnieper, and up that 
river and down the banks of the Niemen or Vistula to the Baltic 

If, on the other hand, we adopt a missionary theory, and are 
content to b>eliere in an Eastern influence only, withont insisting 
on a great displacement of peoples, this would equally be the trade 
route along which such influence might be supposed to extend, 
and so connect the north with the east, just as we may suppose 
a southern route to have extended through Arabia and Syria to 
the southern shores of the Jlediterranean. 

Even more important for our present purpose, however, than 
an examimition of these Caucasian regimia would be an exploration 
of the Stejtpes to the northward of tlie route just indicated. If 
there is any foundation for the theory that the dolmens are of 
'J'uranian origin, it is here that we should expect to find the 
germs of the system. It is one of the best-ostablished facts of 
ethnology that the original seat of the Aryans was somewhere 
in Upper and Central Asia, whence they migrated eastward into 
India, southward into Persia, and westward into Europe. In like 
manner, the original seat of the Turanians is assumed to be some- 
what farther north, and thence at au earlier period it is believed 
that they spread themselves at some very early prehistoric time 
over the whole face of the Old World. When we turn to the 
Steppes, whence this great family of mankind arc supposed to 
have migrated, we find it covered with tumuli. As Haxthausen ' 
expresses it, the Kurgons, as they are there called, are counted 
''non par des milliers, c'est centaines de uiiliiers qn'il faudrait 
dire;" and Fallas equally gives an account of their astonishing 

Flnzthiiuipn, ' Memoim mir la Roasie,' ti. p. 291. 

cmkv. XI r. 






•-iV^»— ^^k 

19<. IViba. 

From DubuU de Monlpcteax. 

numbers.' These tuimili resemble exactly our barrows, such as 
are seeu on Salisbury plain, except that tliey are generally of very 
much larger dimensions, and they have one peculiarity not known 
elsewhere. On the toj» of each is an upright stone, rudely carved, 
but always unmistakably represent- 
ing a human figure, and understootl 
to be intended for a representation 
of the person buried beneath. Pallas, 
Haxthausen, and Dubois, all give re- 
presentations of these figures, but in 
some instances at least they are re- 
petitious of the same original. They 
are perfectly described by the monk 
Ruberquis, who visited these countries 
in 1253. "The Coniauiiins," he says 
"■ build a great tomb over their dead, 

and erect an image of the dead party thereon, with iiis face 
towards the east, holding a drinkiug-cnp in his hand before 
his navel. Tliey also erect on the monuments of rich men 
pyramids, that is to say, little pointed houses or pinnacles. In 
some places I wiw mighty towers, made of Wrick, and in other places 
pyramids made of stones, though no stones are found there- 
abouts. I saw one newly hurird in whoso behalf they hangeil 
up sixteen horse-hides, and they set buside his grave Cosmos 
J (Kumiss) to drink aud flesh to eat, and yet they say he was 
^M baptized. And I beheld other kinds of sepulchres, also towards 
the east, namely, large floors or pavements made of stone, Bome 
round and some square; and then four 
long stones, pitched upright above the 
said pavement, towards the four regions 
of the world." ^ The general correct- 
ness of this account is so frdly eonfinned 
by more modern travellers that there 
seems no reason for doubting it; but, 

as no one has described these " pavements," we dare not rely 
too much ou their manifest similarity to the Scandinavian square 

K"UrKoni<!rctl Grave. 
Krom til'-ibcwf. 

' Voyugo.' i. p. 495. 

' ' PiiTchM his Pilgrlmi,' iii. p. 8. 

2 a 



Ch;ip. XII. 

and round graves, with four angle-stones, like the preceding one 
(woodcut No. 195). 

It may not Iw satisfiiPtory to be obliged to go back to a 
traveller of the thirteenth century, however much he may be 
confirmed by subsequent writfrs, for an account of monuments 
which we would like to see measured and drawn with modern 
accuracy. It in, on the other hand, however, a gain to find a 
trustworthy witness wlio lived among a people who buried their 
dead in tuuiuli and saerilicod hursea in tlieir honour, and provided 
them with meat and drink for their journey to the Shades ; who, 
in fact, in the thirteenth century were enacting those things as 
living men which we tiud only iu a fossil state in more Western 

Tbe general api>earance of these tumuli may be judged of by 
one of the most magnificent recently excavated by the IJussiaus 
near Alexaiidruj>ol, bt-tween the Dnieper and the Biizaolouk. It 
is about lOUO fet.t in circumference and 70 feet high, and was 
originally surmounted by a " Baba," which, however, is not then> 
now. Around its base was a sort of retaining wall of small stones 
and outside those a ditch and low mound, but no attcTupt what- 
ever at lithic magnificence. "W'itbiu it were several sepulchres. 
The princiiml one in the centre had apparently been already 
rifled, but in the subsidiary ones great quantities of gold orna- 
ments were found, especially on the trappings of the horses which 

Chap. XII. 



fii-eni to have Wk'u buried here liltiiost with more liuiumr tliim 
their nuisters. Jutlginjj;' from the form of the nriuimoiits and th(^ 
style of the workmanship, the tomh helonged to the third or fourth 
ceDtury h.c' 

In IlaxtUausen's work ' tliere is a woodcut which may give us 
a hint as to the genesis of circles. A kurgan, or tumulus, at 




Dncoverr.! 1. 

Nikolnjew, in the governjiieiit of Chersoii, was cleared away, unci 
though nothiug was fonud in it to ijidicute its age uud pur|Kis(', 
its base was composed of three or four concentric circles of ujtriuitt 
stones, surrounding what appears to be a toiub composed of five 
stones in the centre. Similar arrangements have been fuvmd in 
Algerian tumuli, and it looks as if the Jiret liint f»f a sepulchral 
circle may have ariseu from such an arraugemeut having become 
familiar before being covered up, just as 1 believe the free- 
standing dolmen arose from tlie uncovered (w'st having excited such 
iuhniriitiou as to make its frauiers unwilling to hide it. 

It does not appear to me to admit of doubt that there is 
a connexion, and an intimate one, between these Scythian or 
Tartar tombs and those of Europe; but the steps by which the 
one grew out of the other, and the time when it took place, can 
only be determined when we have more certain information 

' Tliene partic-ulBrs ape taken from ii TtiiMitin work. ' Rirnoil d'AnliquiU-* do la 
Scyiliie,' 180tj. f)iil.v OHO nuinUr, uppiiiuiill}-, wiu> cvut jmblialicil. 
' • McinoiriB aut lu Kuadc,' ii. p, 3118. 

2 (I 2 



Chap. XH. 

regarding them than we now possess. It is important, liowever, 
to observe tbat, if tLii>y are the original iiuxlols or congfiiers of the 
tumuli of the Western world, they are not of the dolmens or 
circles, except in such an indirect way as in the last example 
quoted from Haxthausen; nor are they of our menhirs, for all 
the stones we know of are carved as completely as the babas 
(woodcut No. 194) ; and we know literally of no rude stones 
connected with thi.'m, nor do we find any attempt in Scythia to 
produce effect by masses in unhewn stone, which is tiic funda- 
mental idea that governed their use in Europe, 

Wo tread on Burei- ground ivhen we reach the Caubul valley, 
not that niiiny proofs of it have yet been published, but the 
quantity of tumidi, Unpes, and similar monuments,' render it cer- 
tain that circles and dolmens will be found there when looked for. 

IBS. Clrck n«*r rcalMWur. Frntn a |>liutcgni|ib. 

Only one typical exanijdo has been published, but Sir Arthur 
Phayre, to whom we owe it, heard of other tsinular monunjcnts 
existing in the iifighbourhood. Fourteen of the stones composing 
this circle are still standing, and the tallest are about 11 feet in 
lioiglit, but others are lying on the ground more or less broken. 
The circle is about 50 feet in diameter, and there are iipjK-arances 
of an outer circle of smaller stones at a distance of about 50 to UO 

(ntnxlactinit to Wilson'? ' Aruinii Antiqun,' pauim. 

Chap. XII, 





feet froiti the inner one. The natives have no tradition about its 
erection, except the samo mytli wlii<'li wu fnul in Somersetshire, 
that a wethliug party, piissiu}; over the plain, were turned into 
stone by some jiowerfiil magician.^ 

At present, these Eiisufzaie circles, nml those described by 
8ir William Ouseley at Deh Ayeh,' are almoet the only 
examples we have to bridge over the immense gulf that exists 
between the Eastern and Westera dolmen regions. Even the 
last, however, is 
only a frail ]>ruj» 
much as we have 
only a drawing 
of it by Sir \V. 
Oui-eley, who, in 
his description, 
says : "I can 
scarcely think 
the arrangement 
of these stones 
wholly, though it may be partly, natural or accidental." Coupled 
with the stone represented as figure 13 on tlie .same plate, in 
Sir William Ouseley's work, I feel no doubt about those belonging 
to the class of rude-stone monuments, but we must know of more 
examples and more obout them before we can reason >vith confi- 
dence regarding them. Another exami)le, which certainly apj)ear8 
to be artificiid, is recorded by Chardin. In travelling between 
Tabriz and Miana, he observed on his left band several circles 
of hewn stones, which his companions informed him had been 
placed there by the Caoiis — the giants of the Kaiunian dynasty. 
" Tiie stones," he remarks, "are so large, that eight men could 
hardly move one of them, yet they must liave been brought from 
quarries in the hills, the nearest of which is twenty miles distant,"* 
Numerous travellers must have passed tlmt way since, but no one 


Circle St Xxh Aytb, new Duvbgerd. 

' ' Joumul AsEfttic fioc. Drngnl,' p. i. No. 1, 1870. 
' 'Travifla in Punia,' ii. p. 124, pi. 1». fig. M. 
' ' Vo>ttg»?d en I'isrto, Ac* i. p. 2t;7. 

454 WESTERN ASIA. Chai-. XII. 

has observed these stones. It does not, however, follow that they 
are not still there, and hundreds of others besides ; but while all 
this uncertainty prevails, it is obviously most unsafe to speculate 
on the manner in which any connexion may have taken place. 
It may turn out that the intervening country is full of dolmens, or 
it may be that practically we know all that is to be learned on the 
subject, but till this is ascertained, any theory that may be broached 
must be open to correction, perhaps even to refutation. It is not, 
however, either useless or out of place to make such suggestions 
as those contained in the last few pages. They turn attention to 
subjects too liable to be overlooked, but which are capable of easy 
solution when fairly examined, while their truth or falsehood does 
not practically in any essential degree affect the main argument. 
The age and ubes of the Indian dolmens, as of the European 
examples, must be determined from the internal evidence they 
themselves afford. Each must stand or fall from its own strength 
or weakness. It would of course be interesting if a connexion 
between the two can be established, and we could trace the mode 
and time when it took place, but it is not necessarily important. 
If anyone cares to insist that there was no connexion between the 
two, he deprives himself of one of the principal points of interest 
in the whole enquiry, but does not otherwise affect the argument 
either as to their age or use. But of all this we shall be in 
a better position to judge when wc have gone through the 
evidence detailed in the ni-xt chapter. 

Chap. XIII. 



CilAPTEK XI 11. 


The number of rude-etone mouuraeuts ia ludia ia probably us 
great or even greater than that of those to bo found in Europe, 
and tliey aro so siiuihir thjit, even if tlioy should not turn nut to 
be ideutieal, they form a most important bruncdi of this enquiry. 
Even irrespective, however, of thepe, tlie study of the history of 
architecture in India is oalcuhited to throw so much light on the 
problems connected with the study of megalithic nuunnufnts 
in the West that, for that cause ukme it deserves much more 
attention than it has hitherto received. 

No one, it is presumed, will now be prepared to dispute the 
early civilization at least of the northern ]»art8 of India. Whether 
the Aryans crossed the Indus three thousand years B.C., as I believe, 
or two thousand B.C., as others contend, is of little consequence to our 
present purposes. It is generally understood that the Vedas were 
compiled rtr reducetl to writing thirteen centuries before Christ, and 
the Laws of Menu seven or eight hundred years Wfore our era, 
and these works betoken a civilization of some standing. Ayo<iia 
was a great prosperous city at the time of the incidents described 
in the Kainayana, and Hastinapura wlien the tragedy of the 
Mahabharnta was being enacted ; and these great events took 
place probably on© or two thousand years before Christ, or between 
these two dates. Or to come a little nearer to our time, all the cir- 
cumstances depicted in all the tliousiindand one legends connected 
with the life and leaching of .Sakyii Muni (023 to o 13 B.C.), describe 
a country with cities imd palaces, and [lossessing a very high state of 
civilz ition ; ami those legends are so numerous and so consenta- 
neous tliat ihey may fairly be considered, for tiiis purpose at least, 
as rising to the digaity of history. Yet with all this we now 
know it for a fact that no stone building or monument of stone 
now exists in India that was erected before the time of Asoka, B.O. 




250. But, beaiJes negative proof, we have in the early cavos, 150 
to 2UU B.C., suL'li manifest proofs of the stone architecture being 
then 11 merf transcript of woodea forniB that we know certainly 
that we have liere reached the very incunabula of a style. Of 
course it does not follow from this that the cities before this 
time may not have been splendid or the palaces magniiiceut. lu 
Burmah and Siani the palaces and monasteries are either wholly 
or mostly in wood, and these timber erections are certainly more 
gorgeous and quite as expensive as the stone buildings of the 
West, and the Indians seem to have been content with this les« 
durable style of architecture till the intlueuce of the Uactrian 
Greeks induced theui to adopt the clumsier but more rlnrable 
material of stone for their buildings. 

With such an example before us, ought we to be surprised if the 
rude inhabitants of Europe were content with earth and the fonud 
into which it could \>e shajied, till the example of the Romans 
taught tlicin the use of the more durable and more strongly 
accentuated material ? Nor will it do to contend that, if our 
forefathers got this hint from the Romans, they would have 
adopted the Roman style of architecture with it. The Indians 
certainly did not du so. Their early attempts at stone archi- 
tecture are wooden, in the strictest sense, and retaiued their 
wooden forms for two or tliree centuries almost unchanged, and 
when gradually they became more and more appropriate to the 
newly adopted material, it was not Greek or foreign forms that 
they adopted, hut fonna of their own native invention. In .Vsoka's 
reign we have Greek or rather Assyrian ornameuta in one of his 
lats,' and something like a Persepolitan capital in some of the 
earlier caves,^ but these died out, and it is not till after fiv« 
centuries that we really find anything like the arts of Bactria at ' 
Amravati.^ As the civilized race copied their own wooden forma., 
with all the elaborateness of which wood carving is capable, so th« 
rude race seems to have used the forms which were approj>riate 
their status, and which were the only forms they could appreciate. 

' ' Hiatoty of Architoccuri',' by tlio 
Author, ii. p. 459, fig. 968. 

' ' Caves of Baja nnd nedsa in Western 
fihftts:' unpublished. 

• ' Tree and 6«rp«nt AVowliip,' quote- 
tioa from Hioucn Thaang, p. 135, anil 
plates, jKtmm. 

Chaj-. XIII. 



Another peculiarity of Indian arcbitecturt) i« worth pointing 
out here as tending tci mo<liiy one of the most generally received 
dogmas of WestiTii critioism. In speaking of such monuments as 
New Grange or the tombs at Locmariaker, which are roofed by 
overlapping stones forming what is technically called a horizontal 
arch, it is usual to fissurae that this must have been done before 
the invention of the Roman or nuliatiug arch form. So far as 
Indian experience goes, this assumption is by no means borne out. 
When Kutlj u deen wished to signalise liis triumph over the 
idolaters, he, in 1206 a,d., employed the Hindus to erect a mosque 
for him in his recently accjuired capital of Delhi. In the centre of 
tJie screen forming the mosque, Iil^ designed a great archway 
22 feet span, 58 feet in height, and formed as a pointed arch of two 
sides of an equilateral spherical triangle. This was the usual form 
of Saracenic openings at Gliazni or lialkh in the beginning of 
the tliirteentb century, but it was almost beyond the power of the 
Hindus to construct it. They did so, however, and it still stiinds, 
though crijtpled; but all the courses are horizont<d, like their own 
domes, exc»'pt two long stones which form the apex of tho arch.' 
In a very few years after this time the Jlahonimeilan cunquerors had 
taught the subject Hindus to build radiating arches, and every 
mosque or Mabommedan building from that time forward is built 
with arches formed as we form them ; but, except a very few in 
the reign of the cosmopolite Akbar, no single Hindu building or 
temple, even down to the present time, has an arch in the sense iu 
which we understand tho word. 

One of the most striking instances of this peculiarity is found 
in the province of Guzerat. There are still to bo seen the 
splendid ruins of the city of Ahmedabad built by the Mahommedtm 
kings of tho province between the years 1-111 and 1583.^ There 
every mosque and every building is areheil or vanlt<id according 
to one system. In the same provmce stands the sacred city of 
I'alltana, with its hundreds of temples, some of a date as early 
as the eleventh, many built within the limits of the present 
century, and some now in the course of construction ; yet, so far as 

' lIi«lory of ATclitlcctun*.' by Uic Author, iL p. 649. 
^* 'AtchiUxioK or Aluuc<]»tM<i.' 120 |ihotogiiiplid. wilU kxL Miirmy, I8<>ii. 



Chap. XIII. 

ia known, tliertj is uot a single arch witliin tire walls of the city. 
Bo it 19 tlirougliout India: side by side stand the buildings of 
the two great sects — those belonging to the Mabommedans 
universally urehed, tlioso belonging to the Hindus as certainly 
avoiding tJiis form of construction. This is the more remark- 
able as the moment we cross the frontier of India we find 
the arch univeraally prevalent in Bnrmah, as early certainly 
as the tenth or eleventh century, and in all the forms, round, 
puiiitwl, and flat, wliich we use in tlie present day.' But if we 
extend our researches a little farther east, we again come to a 
country full of the most wonderful buildings kno^rn to exist 
anywhere, with bridges and viaducts and vaults; but not one 
Bingle arcli has yet been discoverod in the length and breadth 
of the kingdom of Cambodia. 

All this is no doubt very anomalous and strange, though, if it 
were worth while, some of it might be accounted for and explained. 
This, however, -is not the place for doing so : all that is here 
required is to point out the existence of the apparent anomaly, in 
order that wo may not too hurriedly jump to chronological conclu- 
sions from the existence orabsetice of arches in any given building. 

Another most instructive lesson bearing on our present subject 
thftt is to be derived from the study of Indian autiquities will be 
found in that curious but persistent, juxtaposition that every- 
where prevails of the highest form of progressive civilization 
be<side the lowest types of changeless barbarism. Everywhere in 
India the past is the present, and the present is the past ; not, 
as is usually assumed, that the Hindu is imniutalde — quite the 
contrnry. Wlien contemiwrnry history first dawned on us, India 
was Buddhist, and for eight or nine centuries that was the preva* 
lent religion of the state. There is not now a single Buddhist 
establishment in the length and lircadth of the land. Tlie religions 
which superseded Buddhism were then new, and have ever since 
been changing, so that India now contains more religions and more 
numerous sects than any portion of the world of the same extent. 
Even within the last six centuries one-fifth of the populatlun have 
adopted the Midiommedan religion, and are quite prepared to follow 

' Yule, ' Mission to the Conrt or Ava,' p. 43, i>l. ix. 

Chai-. XIII. 



Hiiy now form of faith t]iat inuy be the fashion of the day. but 
besiile r11 this never ceaaing change^ there are tribes and raoes 
which remain iininHtable. 

Ti> take one instance among a hundred that might be adduced. 
Ougein was a great coramercial cajjital in thu i3ays of the Greek. 
It was the residence of Aaoka, 200 B.C.* It was the Ozone of the 
I'criplus, the capital of the great Vicraniaditya in the middle of 
the tifth century,^ and it was the city ehoson by Jey Sing for the 
erection of oiio of hia great observatories in the reign of Akbar. 
Yet almost within sight of this city are to be found tribes of 
Hhils, living now as they lived long before the Christian era. 
They are not ngricidtnral, hardly pastoral, hut live chiefly by the 
chase. With their bows and arrows they hunt the wild game as 
their forefathers did from time immemorial. They never cared 
to \fiim to read or write, and have no literature of any sort, 
hiirilly any tradition. Yet the Bhil was there before the Brahmin ; 
jjiiul the proudest sovereign of Rajpootana acknowledges the Bhil 
I lord of the soil, and no new successor to the throne considers 
m title as comjilnte till he ha.s received the fika at the hands of 
the nomad.^ If India were a country divided by high moun- 
tain-ranges, or impenetrable forests, or did impassable deserts 
anywhere exists this co-existence of two forms of society might be 
accounted for. Hut the contrary is the case. From the Himalayas 
to Cape CoiQorin, no obstacle exists, nor, so far as we know, ever did 
exist, to the freest- intercourse between the various races inhabiting 
the country. If we may believe the traditions on which the epic 
of the llamayana was founded, amiiew traversed the length and tlie 
breadth of the lan<l one thousand, it may be two thousand, years 
before Christ. The Brahmins carried their arms and their litera- 
ture to the 8outh at a very early age. The Buddhists spread 
everywhere. The Jains succeeded them. The Mahoramedans 
conquered and settled in Mysore and the Carnatie, but in vain, 
The Bhil, the Cole, the Gond, the Toda, and other tribes, remain 
as thoy wore, and practise their own rites and follow the customs of 
their forefathers as if the stranger had never come among them. 

' ' J. A. S. B.' viL p. 9a0. » ' J. R. A. &,' now tmv^ ir, p. 88. 

* 'TodH RttJoBtaa; i. p. 224. 


Chap. XIII. 

Eabtkhn India. 

To turn from tln^ee generalities to two tustunoes more directly illus- 
tnitivf uf onr Einopeaii experience. The first is tLat of tbe Khouds, 
the Druids of tU«-> Eiist, worshipping in groves, prised formidine 
'is, aud iudulgiug in human sacrifices and other uuamiable 
pructictfi of our forefathers.' These tribes exist partly on a range 
uf hills bounding the pruvinco of Cuttuck on the western side and 
piirtly extend into the plains themselves. Almost within their 
boundaries there exists a low range of rocky hills knowu as the 
Udyagiri, in which are found a series of Buddhist caves, many 
of thetu excavated before the Christian era, and as beautiful and 
as interesting as any caves in India.* A little beyond this are 
seen tlio groat tower of the Bobanesvvar temple and of the hundred 
and one stimller fanes dedicated to the worsiiip of Siva, which was 
established here in all its splendour iu the seventh century ; ' and 
a littln farther on, rises on the verge of the ocean the great tower 
of the temjde of Juggernaut, at Puri, established in the twelfth 
century for the worship of that form of Vishnu.* Yet in defiance 
of alt this, in close proximity to the sliriues of the gentle ascetic 
who devoted his life to the prevention of the shedding of the 
i.ilood of the meanest of created beings, in sight of Bobaneswar 
and Puri, Maepbersoii tells us, unconsciously almost repeating 
the words of Tacitus * : " The Khonds use neither temples nor 

' Tlie infonnatian rognnling tbo 
Kliui>da is principnlly durivtid fmui n 
work itjtitli-<l ' Mf?morinl» of !*cTviee,' by 
>Injnr Churteris-Mat.'pbfrsdn (Mtirruy, 
18(!o), nnd liU (mpfrs iu ' J. K. A. S." 
xiii. i>p. 210 rt ncqu. I (junb) l»y prefer- 
ence fiuu t)iL' lultor, us tUu more geue- 
ruUy ocixasible. 

' Fur several yeata put I }t*ve offi- 
ciidly und privtitcly been t'xcrliug nil Uie 
influenoo I jiossess to try und pet two 
baMi rclievi tbat exist in tliuso cuvcji 
CMt or pliQtogrupbbd, or ut least care- 
fully copied in some form, but Litherto 
in vain. Li 1869 the GoTi-mmciit sent an 
expcditiur) to Cultack with draftamen, 
phologmpkcnt, &c., but thvy knew bo 

little what wod wanted tbut tbey wasted 
tbeir tiniu and money in casting minaret« 
und sculptures of no bcnuty or interott, 
oud, Imviiig earnwl tbeir pay, rotiiruc<l ro 
in/eeta. I am not wilboul bopes tluit Boiue- 
tiling inay be done during tbe pnauut 
cold season. When re]ireM;utntionii aru 
obluineil, tbey will throw moro light ou 
the history of the Yu\-anu8 or Un-ek* Ui 
tbut remote part of India tiiuu aiiylUiug 
else that ODuld Ixi done, and would clear 
up some points iu the hiKtury of Inilian 
art that uro now very obscure. 

' Sterling's ocoounl uf Cuttack, 
' Asiatic Eeaearche*,' xv. p. 306, 

* Iak. t. c. p. 315. 

* Tuoitus' ' Gunnaniik,' 9. 

Chap. XIII. 



images in tbeir worship- Tliey cannot conipreheud and regard 
OS absurd the idea of liuihlin^ a houso in honour of" a deity, or in 
the expectation that he will be pecwliarly present in any place 
resembling a human habitation. O roves kepf sacred from the axe, 
hoar rocks, tlie tops of hills, fonntsiins, and tlie banks of streams, 
are in their eyes the fittest places for worfiliip." It was in these 

pred and venerable groves, that annually human victims were 
offered np to apponse the wrath of the dreaded Tari, and to 
procure fertility Ibr the lields. In 1830 we first interfered to put 
a stop to this, and before the Mutiny believed we had been 
successful. Perhaps we may have been so, but if our strong 
repressive hand witc, once ronidved, it cannot be doubted but the 
sacrifices would be instantly resumed. What the Buddhists and tho 
Brahmins, working during at least two thousand ye^rs, have failed 
to accomplish, we strangers cannot expect to succeed in, in a few 
years, unless indeed we adopt the system followed by our fore- 
fathers, and are determined on extirpating those who obstinately 
adhere to such practices. Had it not been that iirst the Roman, 
and then the Celt, by sword and coni set vigorously to improve 
the older race, we mi::;ht now have linnian sacrifices celebrated 
uii the plains of Bauce in the neiglibourlioitd of Chartres, and find 
j)eople quietly erecting dolmens in the valley of the Dordogne, 

The practices, however, of a Claudius or a 8Jmon de Montfort 
are lopugnant to the feelings of tho Indians, and so long as no 
political issue is at stake, they rarely interfere with the religious 
proclivities of their neighbours. 

When from the hills inhabited by the Khonds we cross the 
delta of tho Ganrjes in a northerly direction, and cmiie to the 
Khassia hills, we find a very different state of things, but equally 
interesting as an illustration of our present studies. These hills are 
situated between the valley of Asssim and the plains of Sylhet, and, 
rising to a height of mmc ^000 to (JOUO feet, catch the raijis during 
the south-west monsoon, and but for this would be one of the most 
delightl'iil sanitaria of the Bengal province. A country, however, 
where GOO inches of rain fall in three munths is, for at least a 
quarter of the year, an undesirable aWle, and it is difficult also to 
keep any soil on the rocks. Throughout the whole of the western 
portion of the hilly region, inliabited by tribes bearing the generic 



Chap. XITI. 

name of Khnssias, rude-stone monuments exist in greater numbers 
than perhaps in any other portion of the globe of the same extent 
(woodcut No. 200). All travellers who Itave visited the country 
lirtve bfou struck witli the fact and witli the curious similarity of 
their forms to those existing in Europe.' So like, indeed, are they 
tliat it has long been the fasliion to assume their identity, and it 
has ponspquently lieen often hoped that, if we conld only find out 
why the Indian examples were erected, we might discover the 






view ill IvhuMsia Ilillt. IW H. Walluri. 

motive which guided those in Europe who constructed similar 
montiments, while at the same time there seemed every reason for 
Ix'lieving that it would not be difficult to discover the motives 
which led to the erection of the Iiuliim examples. The natives 
make no mystery about them, and many were erected within the 
last few years, or are being erected now, and they are identical in 
form with those which are grey with years, and must have been 
set up in the long forgotten i)a8t. Here, therefore, there seemed a 
chance of at last solving the mystery of the great stones. Greater 

' H. "WttlJerB, 1828, ' Asintio Re- 
i>o*ireho8,' xvii. pp. iii9 el «n/7. Colonel 
Vule, ' Proccodingu, 8oc. of Anliq. Scot,' 

i. p. 02. IIooker'8 '] liRuiInyun Jouniitls.' li. 
p. 27<j. Major Godwin Auslun, ' JnnrnaJ 
AnthropologicBl lustituti,' vol. i. Part II. 

Chap, X[II. 




KhMite rtuMrMl 8Mth Krvm Yule. 

familiarity with thein has, however, rather tended to dispel these 

The Khassiiis burn tlieir dead, which is a practice that hardly 
could have hiul its orif^iii in their present abodes, iuasimioh iv, 
during thrwj months in 
the year, it is impossible, 
from the rair), to light 
a fire out of doorti, and 
consequently, if any one 
dies during that period, 
the hoily ia placed in a 
coftln, turmed from the 
hollowed trunk of a tree, 

and pickled in honey, till a fair day admits of his obsequies 
being properly performed.' According to Mr. Walters, the urna 
containing the ashes are placcil iu little circular cells, witli Hut 
tops like stools, which exist in the immediate proximity of all 
the villages, and are used as seats by the villagers on all istatii 
occasions of assembly ; but whether one et<xtl is used for a whole 
family, or till it is filled with urns, or whether a new stool is pre- 
pared when a great man dies, has not yet been ascertained.^ 

The origin of the menhirs is somewhat differe